The mystery that surrounds the historic Trinity Auditorium continues (like its mysterious cousin the Hotel Clark near Pershing Square). New York-based Chetrit Group, who owns the Trinity located at 9th/Grand, has mostly shied away from media providing little information about future development plans for the historic edifice (once destined to become the Gansevoort West Hotel from NY’s Meatpacking District). We all know that it still involves a hotel project, but we have no idea what the timeline is or what it’s going to look like, etc. But little by little, some information has been revealed overtime that provides a somewhat clearer picture of what’s happening at the Trinity. For instance, in 2011 signs pointed to a King & Grove Hotel as the potential new brand for the Trinity. Then in 2012, a Notice of Public Hearing said the Trinity would actually be named “Empire Hotel” and would come with 183 rooms and a rooftop pool and bar. Now just this week, the plywood that boarded up the windows along the sidewalk, for what seemed like an eternity, has been removed revealing new windows behind.
Category Archives: downtown los angeles
After more than two and a half years of construction, Chinatown’s very first market rate housing development called Jia Apartments is now officially open. Developed, owned, and managed by Equity Residential, the new mixed-use project — with a new Starbucks opening in early April and a couple more restaurants in lease negotiations — rises six stories adjacent to the striking Chinatown gateway with its twin golden dragons guarding the Broadway entry. Jia Apartments, which cost $93 million to develop, signals a new economic incline for Chinatown as more money is being invested into this northern district of Downtown LA. Finally, Chinatown joins the rest of downtown’s development wave that has reinvigorated the city center with new life and regional relevancy.
Last year, a lot of exciting developments happened around the historic PacMutual Building in Downtown LA. Exciting eateries like Tender Greens, Le Pain Quotidien, and Earth Bar signed on to open here while an amazing historic courtyard — sandwiched within the PacMutual and hidden since post-WWII — was revealed for the first time since being covered up. And the good news continues to come out of PacMutual as another exciting eatery called Tartine is slated to open later this year.
Several independent sources have informed me that some very big and exciting changes are in the preliminary planning stages for Library Tower in Downtown LA. Last year, Library Tower (aka US Bank Tower) was purchased by Singapore-based Overseas Union Enterprise (OUE) for $367.5 million from MPG according to the LA Times. The 73-story office high-rise stands at 1,018 feet tall and still holds the title of tallest skyscraper west of Chicago. However, Library Tower also has one of the highest office vacancies downtown hovering at around 45% (that’s 585,000 square feet of empty space out of 1.3 million total). In an effort to turn the property around and raise the profile of OUE’s new LA acquisition, the Asian investment company had to think outside of the box as the office market has been stubbornly soft and more and more companies are shying away from traditional office space in favor of creative spaces. But wait a minute: everyone knows that the red hot economic engine downtown has involved both residential and hotel developments. Aha!
Watch Onni’s 32-story apartment tower u/c rise halfway up in just 21 seconds!
Downtown resident, Aileen Viray, sends in this cool time-lapse video she put together — starting last November and ending just last week in February — tracking the progress at 9th and Olive where Onni’s new apartment tower is actively under construction. The high-rise has now risen exactly halfway up with work starting on the 17th floor (out of 32 floors total). Construction has been humming at the site since Jan 2013 just over a year ago when groundbreaking commenced. Vancouver-based Onni Group is developing this new mixed-use apartment tower, currently dubbed 888 Olive St., and will eventually bring to market 283-units for rent and add 11,000 square feet of retail space to the corner intersection.
On the southeast corner of 8th and Figueroa is a new restaurant called Local Table that has become a great addition to the ever growing list of downtown eateries. Local Table brings fresh American fare to the Financial District and South Park. Situated amongst the surrounding towering office high-rises, it’s already the new hot spot to grab lunch for throngs of hungry office workers. Moreover, the eatery is also a great new place for residents downtown as it has a casually comfortable ambiance like a cute little neighborhood spot.
Last week, I got an awesome tour of Union Station from Metro’s Deputy Executive Officer of Countywide Planning, Jenna Hornstock. I learned about some very exciting changes coming to the busiest rail station west of the Mississippi. Basically, you have two different timelines for planned improvement projects: short term and long term changes. Both are very exciting because it means Union Station is going to get better and better and play a much more prominent and vital role in our region’s growing mass transit network.
Could it be? Could it be? No more schlepping to Silver Lake or Pasadena for Trader Joe’s? It could be!
Remember back in 2011 when Trader Joe’s snubbed Downtown LA by specifically stating that “downtown wasn’t in their 3-year plan?” Many downtown residents were livid that Trader Joe’s stubbornly refused to open here even though a DCBID demographic survey made it quite clear that Trader Joe’s was (and still is) the #1 most desired market chain. Well, the “three year ban” is coming to an end soon and Downtown LA is now a completely different animal than even just three years ago. Since 2011, the list of new downtown developments and businesses that have opened, or are planning to open (including the new Whole Foods under construction at 8th/Grand), has transformed Downtown LA from the victim of skepticism to the center of attention (even making the NY Times Top Global Places to Visit in 2014). So has Trader Joe’s finally taken notice of all this positive attention? The short answer is: Yes.
This past Valentine’s Day was another major, major milestone in Downtown LA’s continued march forward toward urban renewal and revitalization. The Metropolis project, which is a 6.3 acre development site (currently an ugly surface parking lot) on the western edge of downtown abutting the 110 freeway, held a ceremonial ground breaking event that finally secured the fate of the long-delayed project.
Downtown LA is getting a new, dare I say, sexy parking structure in north South Park at 8th and Francisco. I usually wouldn’t consider a new parking structure newsworthy, but this project is being designed with a lot more thought and concern for aesthetics, so I thought it should be highlighted as an example for other parking structures to follow. Designed by Downtown LA-based architect firm, LeanArch, the parking structure is being developed by landowner and giant parking operator Joe’s Auto Parks as a mixed-use project consisting of not only parking but with office and retail components as well according to a development executive I spoke to at the company.
Ninth and Broadway just got even more exciting this weekend with the opening of Tanner Goods this past Sunday afternoon. The new Tanner Goods store in Downtown LA is only the second one outside of Portland, Oregon. The boutique is about 1,000 square feet large with soaring high ceilings giving the store a beautiful and spacious industrial ambiance. For those unfamiliar with the brand, Tanner Goods is a maker of leather goods including bags, wallets, gloves, and belts. However, you’ll find more than just accessories as a full line of clothing attire and shoes are stocked as well from various brands including Norse Projects from Denmark, Tellason denim and Tanner Goods’ own clothing line called The Woodlands.
It was last January 2013 that City Tavern announced they would be joining the FIGat7th food roster. Now a year later, the restaurant and pub tavern from Culver City opened their second location this week with not only a new downtown space twice as large at 4,000 square feet (making it their new flagship with capacity up to 190), but also an expanded menu and bar with 28 California craft beers on tap. The contemporary American menu City Tavern is known for now offers a new “Chilled” section featuring dishes like Fresh Shucked Oysters, Crudo, and House Smoked Salmon Belly. There’s also a cocktail lounge and an outdoor patio with a capacity of up to 40.
A brand new shiny Walgreens just opened this past Friday at the crime ridden intersection of 5th and Broadway — a part of Downtown LA’s Historic Core that has resisted change from its gang and drug infested past even as the rest of downtown continues to revitalize. The grand opening on Jan 31 at 10 am was an event marked with DJ music, balloons, free food samples, and lots of smiles and cheer. The celebratory mood inside stood in stark contrast to the seedy elements that still lurked outside as the daily east-west migratory pattern from Skid Row to Pershing Square continued as usual uninterrupted. However, given Walgreens’ different operating strategy from “the problem” Rite Aid across the street, the new Chicago-based drug store is hopefully a sign of more positive changes to come for one of Downtown LA’s worst intersections.
The historic Olympic Theatre located near the NW corner of 8th and Broadway is now available for lease as a unique flagship retail space opportunity along the exciting Broadway retail corridor. Built in 1927, the 600-seat theater was originally called Bard’s Eighth Street Theatre but was renamed Olympic Theatre in 1932 to commemorate the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Today, the space is once again ready to shine as Downtown LA continues to attract national and international retailers at an unprecedented rate. This retail space is ideal for a retailer with a unique identity and brand.
Full details below ↓
This just in: Burlington Coat Factory (referred to as simply “Burlington” on their website) has leased the underground space now occupied by Big Lots located at 7th/Broadway. [Update 2/13/2014: Burlington has apparently leased the ground floor retail space as well above Big Lots totaling approximately 40,000 square feet.] The space is located under the Saint Vincent Jewelry Center, which was once the original Bullock’s flagship department store built in 1906. Apparently, Burlington will also take a smaller portion of the space above Big Lots on the street level for a total of 18,000 square feet. It is still unclear when Big Lots would vacate and when Burlington plans to open.