With so many new developments under construction in the Arts District, Downtown LA’s industrial chic community is about to get even hotter in the next few years. Adding to the fire is a new exciting retail project aptly named AT MATEO that just broke ground in mid-January last month. So aptly named because you can bet a lot of Angelenos will be “at Mateo” when this thing is finished in about two years. Purchased last summer for $32.5 million by a joint venture between ASB Real Estate Investments and local real estate firm Blatteis & Schnur, five large warehouses occupying a huge block bounded by Mateo and Palmetto will be converted into an open-air 130,000 square foot retail hub consisting of a major retail anchor, grocery store (I’ve heard they are courting the ever elusive Trader Joe’s), and numerous restaurants and retail shops. In addition, a 400-space parking structure will be incorporated into this $30 million redevelopment project.
About a week ago, I was invited by FOX 11 to come on their noon time talk show segment to give an update on some of the most exciting developments happening in Downtown LA. It’s always super fun for me to be able to share with people what’s going on with DTLA — my favorite subject of course!
Please check out the video above and here are the topics we covered:
- 1.1 million S.F. Broadway Trade Center getting restored
- More retailers opening up in downtown
- Arts District exploding with development, incl. Coca Cola Building
- Rite Aid pharmacy controversy at 5th/Broadway
- Farmers Field viewed as a benefit for downtown
- More green space, Pershing Square next big thing
Thank you again so much to FOX 11 News!
New owners of the former Coca-Cola factory building in the Arts District have just released some very exciting renderings of the conversion project they plan to implement for the historic production facility built a century ago. The owners — a joint venture between LA-based GPI Companies and NY-based Atlas Capital — plan to invest a substantial amount of funds (in the multi-millions) to redevelop the property into a creative office and retail hub that will restore and highlight the building’s amazing vintage character — including the beautiful red brick that makes up most of the facade.
We last checked in with One Santa Fe about 6 months ago when it was still a big construction site and it’s so exciting to see something this huge and game-changing coming to fruition. Designed by renowned architect Michael Maltzan, the massive 438-unit Arts District project (a quarter of a mile long) is already filling up with new residents and signing new leases with unique and exciting shops and eateries. Dubbed “The Yards at One Santa Fe” (a reference to Metro’s train maintenance yard next door), the retail center on the ground floor is preparing to launch one of the most exciting indie retail concepts in all of Los Angeles that’ll give cross-town Abbot Kinney a run for its money. Three more new additions have just signed on: LA’s Wittmore, SF’s Voyager Shop, and a new Asian eatery called BOL, all expected to open in the first quarter of 2015.
We already know the Arts District is hot on the development radar in Downtown LA. Over in NoArDi (aka North Arts District), several very large projects in the making are transforming the once desolate industrial warehouse district into an active and vibrant residential and artistic community. The massive One Santa Fe project with 438 apartments and a 99-seat community theater along with the MegaToys Lofts with 320 apartments — both under construction — will be adding thousands of new residents in the coming years. And the exciting recent announcement of Hauser Wirth & Schimmel converting an old flour mill on 3rd Street into a 100,000 square foot art center complex — befitting of the district’s namesake — is slated to open in 2016. But NoArDi shouldn’t have all the fun. Now SoArDi (aka South Arts District) will be the next to receive a large mixed-use project near 7th/Alameda just a stone’s throw from fashion juggernaut Alameda Square (headquarters to American Apparel, Splendid/Ella Moss, and Groceries Apparel).
It’s amazing and so very exciting to see the massive Michael Maltzan-designed One Santa Fe project taking shape on the eastern edge of Downtown LA in the burgeoning Arts District, which is rapidly becoming one of the hottest neighborhoods in all of Los Angeles with new trendy shops like Warby Parker and Blacktop Coffee as well as EightyTwo barcade opening recently down the street. One Santa Fe — sandwiched between SCI-ARC and the Metro rail yard — will be a huge game changer for the Arts District adding an additional 438 apartment units for rent (potentially increasing the downtown population by another 650 residents) and adding lots of new businesses and community amenities (like a 99-seat theater) that will help inject more pedestrian activity into the immediate area, including an exciting new grocery store called GROW that’s planning to open later this year within the One Santa Fe courtyard.
The Arts District just got even hipper. Two new businesses have set up shop in the last several weeks that continue to inject new life into the burgeoning community on the eastern edge of Downtown LA: Blacktop Coffee and Warby Parker (the affordable trendy eyewear collection from New York). Both new concepts have opened with a synergistic collaboration with Alchemy Works, a highly curated retail boutique that recently opened last November stocked with an eclectic mix of merchandise that GQ calls “a living Tumblr.”
Wow Downtown LA is just buzzing with grocery store news lately huh? Yesterday, there was some exciting rumors that we posted that Trader Joe’s may be opening a store at The Bloc in the Financial District, and now some more exciting grocery news to share that a local LA market called GROW in Manhattan Beach is planning to open later this year at the massive Michael Maltzan-designed One Santa Fe mixed-use project in the rapidly developing Arts District.
This past weekend was the official launch of the Arts District Flea, which is a permanent indoor flea market located at 453 Colyton Street just a short block west from the central gathering hub otherwise known as Urth Caffe. The three-day event started on Friday and attracted hundreds of people throughout the weekend ending on Sunday. The high turn out shows the kind of demand there is for community oriented events like this in a rapidly growing Arts District. Local vendors and artisans from throughout Los Angeles (and many from the Arts District itself) set up stalls in the cavernous 15,000 square foot industrial warehouse space with concrete floors and 14.5 foot high exposed wood-beam ceilings. With a capacity for up to 60 separate vendors (each stall is 8′ x 8′), the Arts District Flea will continue to offer a dynamic and wide range of both new and vintage items for sale.
Did you grow up in the age of classic gaming (like me) in the 80s and 90s when going to the arcade was an absolute integral part of life? Remember the good ol’ days of lining up quarters on the arcade console waiting eagerly for your turn to challenge the “unbeatable” incumbent player on games like Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat? For me, it was all about Chun Li: “Yatta!” Walking into EightyTwo, now open in the Arts District in Downtown LA, is like taking a trip back in time when arcade game consoles were ubiquitous (7-Elevens used to be the hang out spot after school right?).
With over 5,000 residential market rate units under construction right now in Downtown LA — from South Park to Chinatown, Bunker Hill to the Arts District — only one development project will actually offer condo units for sale as opposed to apartments/lofts for rent. The highly anticipated second phase of Barker Block — located in the Arts District, one of the hottest up-and-coming urban neighborhoods in the country — will be bringing 68 new condo units to the market. Out of ~5,000 units under construction, the new Barker Block Warehouse No 1 units only represent about 1% of the total! Given the low supply and the pent-up demand for new condos, you can only imagine the buyers’ interest for these new Barker Block units. According to the co-developer, KOR, there are 2,800 registered on the interest list.
Rumors were leaked earlier this year that Stumptown was looking for space in the Arts District, and now Los Angeles coffee lovers can rejoice the new addition. The Portland-based Stumptown Coffee Roasters opened their first LA location in the Arts District last month (Sept 10, 2013) nearby a slew of other new eatery businesses including: Bestia, Bread Lounge, and Urban Radish specialty market.
There was a time in Downtown LA’s not-so-distant past where the nicest fashionable items you’d find were knock-off designers somewhere within the maze of Santee Alley. Not that I have anything against downtown’s own bargain fashion bazaar (it kind of reminds me fondly of New York’s chaotic Canal Street), but I am very glad to see an influx of new higher end shops (i.e., Acne Studios, The Well, Brigade, Apolis: Common Gallery, and Zara to name a few) making their way into LA’s urban center, adding that much needed balance to Downtown LA’s retail scene (we got a lot of lows but very few highs). Guerilla Atelier is the newest addition to Downtown LA’s growing high-end retail stock, bringing lux designer labels to the Arts District.
Several sources have informed me that London-based Soho House is currently searching for Is location in Downtown LA, and specifically, in the very up-and-coming Arts District on the eastern side of downtown. The private membership club “for those in film, media, and creative industries” is rumored to be looking at a couple different sites in the creative heart of the Arts District: one near Bestia and a more serious contender at 405 Mateo, which is a gorgeous but vacant 5-story industrial edifice at the junction of the 4th Street Bridge and the Molino Street Lofts. 405 Mateo could be a perfect match for Soho House as the building is ideally located (near One Santa Fe) and looks almost identical to the Soho House brand logo.
Over the last decade, the Arts District on the eastern edge of Downtown LA has become increasingly more residential as opposed to being a strictly industrial district. As more residents moved in over the years into industrial buildings turned into lofts, the demand for basic amenities became ever more apparent. Even though numerous high profile restaurants and eateries have opened here in the last several years (i.e., Urth Caffe, Wurstkuche, Church & State, Bestia, Handsome Coffee to name a few), sorely missing was a neighborhood grocery store. And now with the opening of Urban Radish at 660 Mateo St near the Biscuit and Toy Factory Lofts, the Arts District finally gets its own specialty market helping to fulfill that basic residential need.