The beautiful historic Rialto Theatre neon marquee was relit tonight as Urban Outfitters prepares for a grand opening on Dec 19, 2013 (Photo: Hunter Kerhart)
Behold! The most beautiful sight to see in all of Downtown LA: The historic 1917 Rialto Theatre neon marquee — dark for numerous decades due to sad urban decay — was relit tonight after successful restoration work by Urban Outfitters as the clothing retailer prepares for a grand opening on December 19, 2013. Readers of DTLA Rising sent in numerous photos from various angles showing the amazing restoration of the historic theater signage now brightly lit with neon tubes illuminating the block near 8th and Broadway. Truly a beacon of hope for the future of Broadway and the growing strength of Downtown LA urban revitalization.
More cool shots below!
Posted in architecture, art and culture, downtown los angeles, economic development, fashion, historic core, retail
Tagged rialto theatre downtown la, urban outfitters broadway downtown la, urban outfitters downtown la, urban outfitters dtla, urban outfitters rialto theatre
This historic courtyard, which was covered since WWII, was created in 1921 when the original PacMutual built in 1908 expanded with a new building
An artist rendering of what the new courtyard will look like when it is fully rehabbed (Photo: Rising Realty Partner)
This past February, we discovered that an actual historic courtyard was “hidden” at the PacMutual building since post-WWII when it was covered up with a one-story building that was most recently a Verizon authorized retailer. The courtyard was created when the original 1908 PacMutual at 6th/Olive expanded with the addition of a much larger 1921 structure that most people now associate as being the main building (there are a total of three historic buildings that comprise the PacMutual). After the PacMutual was purchased by Rising Realty Partners back in April 2012, the urban-conscious developers have been actively repositioning the building with the goal of activating the community surrounding it.
Posted in architecture, downtown los angeles, financial district, food, real estate, restaurants
Tagged historic courtyard pacmutual, le pain quotidien downtown la, le pain quotidien pacmutual, lpq downtown la, pacmutual downtown la, rising realty partners downtown la, tender greens downtown la, tender greens pacmutual
Workers add the finishing touches on the newly restored Rialto Theatre historic marquee in preparation for Urban Outfitters opening soon
One of the most exciting retail developments to happen in Downtown LA in recent memory was last year’s announcement that Urban Outfitters was planning to open at 8th and Broadway. Exciting not only because of a new popular store coming downtown but what it means for the rest of Broadway’s future. The deep pockets that a mainstream retailer like Urban Outfitters have definitely benefit the efforts behind Broadway’s revitalization. Mainly, the complete restoration of the historic Rialto Theatre’s beautiful marquee as well as the rehab of the interior theater space activating it with a viable economic purpose that becomes catalytic (read: attracting other businesses to open along Broadway).
Downtown Chicago is bustling and filled with a variety of commercial activities and is a great model for Downtown LA to follow
I spent last week in one of the country’s best downtowns — Chicago. I was invited by Downtown LA-based architect firm, TCA, to join the founder Thomas Cox on an Urban Land Institute (ULI) conference panel discussing Gen Y (a demographic group I belong to) and our shifting preference toward multifamily housing in urban centers away from the default auto-centric suburbia that the Baby Boomers — our parents — once salivated for. The panel discussion was held at the Langham Hotel in the heart of Downtown Chicago across from the brand new stunning Trump Int’l Hotel and Tower. Lodging nearby at TheWit (highly recommended), I was in the perfect central location to explore all the amazing urban attributes that Downtown Chicago has to offer.
Posted in architecture, art and culture, bicycle oriented, community involvement, downtown los angeles, education, mixed-use development, pedestrian oriented, smart growth
Tagged architecture in chicago, chicago bike friendly, downtown chicago, downtown chicago walkable, pedestrian friendly chicago, uli conference downtown chicago
Ace Hotel will be opening in mid-Jan 2014, restoring and keeping the famous “Jesus Saves” sign in back of the United Artist Theater (Photo: CaptainMarvel)
Back in Oct 2011, DTLA Rising broke the news that Ace Hotel was potentially taking over the historic United Artist Theater near 9th and Broadway in the Historic Core borderline Fashion District. Obviously that “rumor” turned out to be one of the most exciting and highly anticipated redevelopment projects in Downtown LA. Two years later, construction on the hotel project is finally nearing completion with an opening date slated for early next year. In fact, the Ace Hotel website is now accepting reservations beginning Jan 15, 2014 with current room rates ranging from $212 to $569.
Corner of 8th and Hope: A new 22-story high-rise apartment tower is now about half way done with a completion slated for 2014
Okay, so we all know now that Downtown LA is in the midst of another impressive building boom with at least a half dozen high-rises under construction including the ginormous 73-floor Wilshire Grand Tower slated for completion in early 2017 (the West Coast’s tallest new tower in the making). Out of the half dozen, another one of those exciting new high-rises under construction is the 22-story apartment tower rising at the southwest corner of 8th and Hope on the northern edge of South Park (right across from the future Macy’s Plaza $160 million makeover). National development company, Wood Partners, is developing the residential high-rise project.
Posted in architecture, downtown los angeles, financial district, mixed-use development, real estate, smart growth
Tagged 8th and hope downtown la, 8th and hope wood partners, glass house los angeles, new apartments downtown la, new high rises in los angeles, wood partners downtown la, wood partners glass house los angeles
A new vantage point revealed in this rendering of the Hope Street side with an updated Sheraton Hotel entrance
Feast your eyes on the newest renderings of the exciting $160 million makeover of The Bloc (formerly Macy’s Plaza) located in the heart of Downtown LA’s Financial District bounded by bustling 7th Street, Flower and Hope, as well as 8th Street to the south. The 1.8 million square foot mixed-use project will be transformed from the current eye-sore, brick fortress into an updated, modern commercial hub of 400,000 sf of retail, 750,000 sf office, and a $40 million updated 485-room Sheraton Hotel that will contribute significantly to the unprecedented urban revitalization happening in Downtown LA.
Posted in architecture, downtown los angeles, economic development, fashion, financial district, food, hotels, mass transportation, mixed-use development, office, pedestrian oriented, real estate, restaurants, retail, smart growth
Tagged macy's plaza the bloc, the bloc downtown la, the bloc dtla, the bloc renderings
The Broad Art Museum is slated to open late 2014 on Bunker Hill in Downtown LA
On Tuesday morning (yesterday), The Broad Art Museum invited members of the media, design industry, and local stakeholders to a special sneak peek (hard hat tour) of the interior construction progress of the much-anticipated contemporary art museum being funded by billionaire and philanthropist Eli Broad. Like a very expensive sculpture being fine tuned — more rebar fastened and more concrete poured – this amazing structure, designed by renowned architect firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, is beginning to take shape nicely and looking more and more like the renderings that were released almost three years ago.
Posted in architecture, art and culture, bunker hill, downtown los angeles, education, events
Tagged best contemporary art museum in the world, best museums in america, eli broad museum downtown la, the broad art collection, the broad art museum los angeles, the broad bunker hill, the broad downtown la, the broad grand ave, the broad museum construction update
Kinfolk Studios from Brooklyn, New York will be opening their second US location at the Eastern Columbia in Downtown LA (Photo: Bo Boos)
Another exciting addition will soon be added to the urban renewal efforts along Broadway in Downtown LA. Several sources have informed me that a new bar from Brooklyn, New York called Kinfolk Studios has leased out the basement level under the architecturally stunning Eastern Columbia building at 9th and Broadway. A call to Kinfolk Studios, located in Williamsburg, confirms that they are, indeed, planning to open at the Eastern Columbia. Apparently, not only is it a bar but also a creative graphic design and bike studio. It will be interesting to see how that concept will be executed in this location.
Posted in architecture, downtown los angeles, food, historic core, nightlife, restaurants
Tagged kinfolk studios broadway, kinfolk studios downtown la, kinfolk studios dtla, kinfolk studios eastern columbia, kinfolk studios locations, kinfolk studios los angeles
New renderings of The Bloc Downtown were released today showing a completely transformed retail center for the complex once known as Macy’s Plaza (Photo: The Bloc Downtown)
Everyone wants more retail options in Downtown LA. And more retail options we shall get. One of the most exciting redevelopment projects in Downtown LA will be the complete overhaul of Macy’s Plaza, which includes 2.4 million square feet of commercial space comprising a mix of retail, hotel, and office. The new $160 million makeover of Macy’s Plaza will be renamed The Bloc and will be redeveloped by its new owner The Ratkovich Company (they acquired the property back in May 2013 for $241 million).
Posted in architecture, downtown los angeles, economic development, financial district, mixed-use development, pedestrian oriented, real estate
Tagged macy's plaza downtown la, macy's plaza makeover downtown la, the bloc downtown la, the bloc dtla, the ratkovich company
A rendering of Pershing Square reimagined as open and transparent (Photo: Gensler / Nephew)
Okay, it’s a complete coincidence that after posting yesterday about redeveloping/redesigning Pershing Square (using SF Union Square as a model) that Councilman Jose Huizar announced this morning at the Gensler office downtown that a new 21-member task force was put together to help re-envision and re-imagine the future of Pershing Square. Perhaps the stars are finally aligning? Some of the members (listed below) are property owners surrounding Pershing Square who obviously would like to see the immediate surroundings improved. Remember: A beautiful and successfully activated Pershing Square of the future will benefit the nearby building stock tremendously, raising property values. A conceptual video was also released by Gensler highlighting some ideas for Pershing Square that you can watch here.
Posted in architecture, art and culture, community involvement, downtown los angeles, economic development, environmentally green, financial district, historic core, parks, pedestrian oriented, pershing square, public spaces, smart growth
Tagged gensler downtown la, gensler los angeles, gensler pershing square renderings, pershing square downtown la, pershing square dtla, pershing square los angeles, reimagined pershing square
The parallels between San Francisco’s Union Square and Los Angeles’ Pershing Square are pretty astounding. On the surface it’s hard to believe, but they are essentially twins living two separate lives 337 miles apart but following almost identical historical paths, faced with similar challenges, and playing similar roles in their respective city centers. SF’s Union Square, however, is about two decades ahead of LA’s Pershing Square. As a result, visiting Union Square is really like looking into a crystal ball and gazing into what the future of Pershing Square could become, which is a much better and prettier version of its current ugly self. Unlocking the immense potential surrounding Pershing Square will depend heavily on the right kind of redevelopment and redesign efforts focused on the square itself. In other words, making Pershing Square into a beautiful public space where everyone wants to be will naturally raise the value of all buildings surrounding the square nearby, and as a result, transform the area into a viable and vibrant commercial district akin to Union Square.
Posted in architecture, community involvement, downtown los angeles, economic development, financial district, historic core, Ideas for Downtown LA, parks, pedestrian oriented, pershing square, public spaces, smart growth
Tagged pershing square downtown la, pershing square los angeles, pershing square los angeles history, pershing square parking, pershing square redesign, pershing square remodel, sf union square parking, successful public spaces, union square san francisco
Located at 9th and Broadway, the historic L.L. Western Costume Company building is now the new headquarters for jewelry brand Sparkle Factory
Broadway is getting hotter every year with new retail announcements like Acne Studios and Urban Outfitters coming later this year. In early 2012, jewelry brand Sparkle Factory announced that they would take over the entire 7-story historic L.L. Burns Western Costume Company (built in 1914), which is a building rich with LA history as one of the most prominent outfitters for the stage and screen during Hollywood’s Golden Age. Located at 9th and Broadway, Sparkle Factory will become not only a flagship retail store for owner Tarina Tarantino’s colorful jewelry and accessories, but also a hub for local designers to showcase their own wares.
Posted in architecture, art and culture, downtown los angeles, economic development, fashion, fashion district, historic core, mixed-use development, office, real estate, retail
Tagged alfonso campos sparkle factory, felissimo new york, mara white fred segal, sparkle factory broadway, sparkle factory downtown la, sparkle factory dtla, sparkle factory los angeles, sparkle factory near ace hotel, tarina tarantino sparkle factory
Designed by Kevin Tsai Architecture, Medallion 2.0 would add up to 400 new rental units, a theater, more retail space, over half an acre of green space. The project is slated to break ground in late 2015 at 3rd and Main St (Photo: Kevin Tsai Architecture)
A lot of exciting developments have been happening at the Medallion Apartments recently in the Old Bank District at 4th and Main. The mixed-use complex with 96 apartments for rent — taking up the entire half block of 4th Street from Main to Los Angeles St — added a brand new vegan restaurant called Dr J’s Vibrant Cafe with Sushi Zo opening later this year. In addition, six more indie restaurants, an indoor farmers’ market, and a slew of artisanal eatery shops (under the expert guidance of John Edwards of Raw Inspiration) are slated to open on the lower level next year that will literally transform the Medallion into a foodie hub. But all that Medallion fun doesn’t end there because something even larger looms on the horizon code named “Medallion 2.0.”
Posted in architecture, downtown los angeles, economic development, historic core, hotels, mixed-use development, parks, public spaces, real estate, smart growth
Tagged alamo drafthouse cinema downtown la, alamo drafthouse cinema los angeles, kevin tsai architecture, medallion 2.0 downtown la, medallion apartments downtown la, mixed-use projects los angeles, new apartments downtown la, new condos downtown la, sky bridge los angeles
The Pershing Hotel begins construction this week turning this priceless 1889 Victorian beauty into 69 affordable housing units at 5th and Main in the Historic Core (Photo: Killefer Flammang Architects)
Late last week, the LA Times reported that one of Downtown LA’s most beautiful examples of Victorian architecture (the kind we usually associate with San Francisco with those lovely bay windows and ornate facade details) will be receiving some major positive upgrades. Located at 5th and Main, the Victorian beauty known as the Pershing Hotel that was built in 1889 by real estate developer Charles Charnock, will be converted to 69 units of affordable housing for the homeless or very low income population and will be called the New Pershing Apartments. The $15 million project will be designed by Killefer Flammang Architects and take about one year to complete.