What started eight years ago in Washington, DC in 2007 by three very smart Georgetown students, the popular east coast salad eatery Sweetgreen has grown to 30 locations in the country (and counting) opening their first LA location in West Hollywood earlier this year with another in Santa Monica coming soon. The LA opening spree doesn’t end there. Now the health-conscious green chain is headed to the heart of LA — Downtown LA, of course — with a new location appropriately nearby the highly anticipated upcoming Whole Foods.
Category Archives: downtown los angeles
Wow that was fast! Only about a month since construction started, a brand new Starbucks opened last Friday on the ground floor of the Title Guarantee Building at 5th and Hill by Pershing Square. Another Starbucks you ask? Yes, but I still think there are two reasons to be excited about this even though it’s “just another Starbucks.” One, the new cafe gives everyday regular folks a way to interact with a beautiful historic building that’s been closed off for decades. Even though this 13-story historic beauty — topped by a stunning Art Deco crown — was converted into 74 lofts back in 2008, the ground floor had been sealed off to the public occupied by the building’s leasing office and a small fitness center. Now, with Starbucks replacing the leasing office and gym, even if you’re not a resident, you can still engage with the building like never before.
Finally! The beautiful Garfield Building at 8th and Hill, one of the last truly stunning pieces of magnificent architecture in Downtown LA that’s still sitting sadly vacant, has been formally put up for sale this past week listed by brokers Gibran Begum of NGKF and Mike Smith and Jim Halferty of Lee & Associates. Ever since the downtown revitalization started well over a decade ago, every downtown booster (including myself) has hoped for the reactivation of the Garfield Building, a grand 12-story edifice built in 1929 designed by prolific architect Claud Beelman in the Art Deco-Art Nouveau style. Now with the building listed on the market, there is great hope that soon someone will pick up this grande dame and give it the TLC it needs to be brought back to life, and as a result, contribute significantly to the urban revitalization of Downtown LA’s Historic Core.
Watch the 1-minute video of #jaydancingLA in the streets of Downtown LA
This past Saturday afternoon, Angelenos were dancing in the streets of Downtown LA for a worthy pedestrian cause. An idea that LA resident Luke Klipp came up with, #jaydancingLA was a way for Angelenos fed up with the LAPD’s crack down on jaywalking to express their civil disobedience in a fun, artistic, and of course, legal way. Joined by Los Angeles Walks founder Deborah Murphy with upbeat music pumping on portable speakers, jaydancers disco-ed and grooved their way through the crosswalks of 7th and Hope in the middle of the Financial District attracting attention from not only pedestrians, but ironically, drivers themselves.
Several months behind schedule, the roof is finally coming off at The Bloc in Downtown LA. What was scheduled to happen sometime in late February, the expansive atrium roof made of metal and glass that covered the front entrance to the former Macy’s Plaza started dismantling work in late May. However, it wasn’t until early last week that construction workers really started to tear off the roof piece by piece exposing a skeletal frame structure that now reveals the sky above. Standing next to the front entrance, even with all the messy construction going on, one can really get an exciting glimpse into what this place will be like once it completes its transformation into an outdoor shopping center filled with urban life and activity.
Now this is how you activate LA Live! By turning it into a community gathering spot in Downtown LA for all Angelenos. And that’s exactly what happened this past Friday when the popular Dark Nights event — as part of LA Live’s new “Summer in the City” events — successfully drew in thousands to come hang out at AEG’s flagship entertainment hub anchored in South Park. According to event organizers Melissa Richardson Banks of Downtown Muse and Edgar Varela of WeAreDTLA, over 20,000 people attended Dark Nights between 6 pm to 10 pm.
DTLA Rising has just learned that Karl Strauss Brewing Co — one of the original microbreweries credited for putting San Diego on the map in the craft brewing industry — has just signed a long term lease to open a brewery restaurant here in Downtown LA’s Financial District. The handcrafted beer chain with currently 8 locations all in Southern California (mostly in San Diego obviously) will be taking over a cavernous 9,000 square foot vacant space at the 600 Wilshire office tower (basically, where Wilshire and Grand intersect). Formerly a Bank of America branch, then a potential Ruth’s Chris steakhouse that never went through, the amazing space with ultra-high ceilings and lots of huge windows wrapping around will provide an incredible space for Karl Strauss to work with.
Bunker Hill is finally starting to feel more coherent now with the completion of The Broad museum (opening Sept 20th) and the Emerson luxury apartments that filled in two major empty deadzones on Grand Ave. Fortunately, more much-needed upgrades are coming to Bunker Hill that will help make the district more inviting, less fortressy. One California Plaza owned by Beacon Capital Partners — a 42-story office tower designed by renowned Canadian architect Arthur Erickson — is well in the process of remodeling its retail corridor, which sits underneath the main pedestrian walkway that connects the entire California Plaza, which includes the taller 52-story Two California Plaza owned by CIM Group, to MOCA and the Colburn School next door.
A brand spanking new gay bar called Precinct has opened at 4th and Broadway just a few doors down from Grand Central Market. After being delayed for almost an entire year by city bureaucracy bullshit (they were initially planning to open in summer of 2014), Precinct finally-finally opened last week on May 30th to amazing reception from DTLA’s burgeoning LGBT community. According to Thor Stephens — who co-owns Precinct with Brian McIntire, both from bar/nightlife backgrounds — a line wrapped around the entire block waiting to get in on opening day. That’s what I call pent-up demand.
This just in from an awesome tipster. Blue Bottle’s LA domination continues with another second location planning to open in Downtown LA in addition to the Arts District. According to the Financial Times published today, Blue Bottle has signed a lease to open in the amazing, beautiful historic Bradbury Building at 3rd and Broadway. Although the article doesn’t go into specifics about the new third-wave coffee outpost opening at one of LA’s most impressive architectural masterpieces built in 1893, I am pretty certain it is replacing the Sprint store at the corner, which I noticed was vacating (relocating to another smaller space on Broadway also in the Bradbury Building) on May 1 during the “May Day Rally” when I snapped the picture above.
The popular national workout chain Bar Method is coming to Downtown LA’s Historic Core. According to listing agents Lee Shapiro and Justin Weiss of Kennedy Wilson, Bar Method will be opening an approximately 3,000 square foot studio on the second floor of the Corporation Building located on Spring Street mid-block between 7th and 8th Street. The 13-story Corporation Building built in 1915 was purchased in 2013 by local downtown developer Izek Shomof who renovated and repositioned the historic structure geared toward creative tenants.
The intersection of 9th/Broadway continues to push forward as one of the main epicenters of new retailers making a comeback in Downtown LA. This past Saturday, the high-end fashion French label A.P.C. (standing for “Atelier de Production et de Création”) finally opened its doors for business here helping to boost the intersection’s critical mass as it begins to take more concrete shape as a bona fide shopping destination. DTLA Rising first announced the rumors that A.P.C. was coming to Downtown LA a year and a half ago back in December of 2013. Replacing what used to be a nondescript art gallery (called Vista Art Galleria), the once forgettable space facing 9th Street has been transformed into a chic and modern fashion showroom and a head turner with a strong street presence.
Back in October 2014, Vancouver-based Holland Partner Group purchased a 39,000 square foot parking lot for $12.5 million on the northwest corner of 8th and Spring located on the cusp of the Historic Core and Fashion District. Less than a year later, we’re now getting some exciting details being revealed about a new ground-up tower that will rise here within this burgeoning urban neighborhood.
After over 5 years of operation, LA Live began the process of refreshing its tenant mix in 2013 with the introduction of several new concepts. Offering Chinese fusion cuisine, Triple 8 China Bar & Grill (the number “8” is a lucky number in Chinese), which officially debuted on May 21st, is the latest addition and replaces the once venerable Trader Vic’s on the Olympic Blvd side of LA Live. Although Triple 8’s menu is not overly large at this stage, it offers enough variety to satisfy most tastes and is a welcome addition to LA Live’s evolving dining mix. During my recent visit, I toured the space and sampled a variety of menu offerings including xiao long bao dumplings and several delicious entrees.
CoCo Fresh brought those addictive chewy boba drinks to South Park last month opening mid-April at 11th and Hope, which has started to catch on within the neighborhood as many residents and workers nearby are beginning to discover the new boba shop (some are probably trying boba for the first time!). Now the popular Taiwanese drink, which includes teas, juices and smoothies, will be opening another store soon in a more central downtown location right across from Pershing Square.