Some amazing things have been happening on the other side of the 110 freeway in Downtown LA’s lesser known City West neighborhood. Located just west of the Financial District, a place once defined solely by one towering residential (adaptive-reuse) high-rise — that shiny blue-glass prism sitting on a giant parking pedestal known as 1100 Wilshire — is evolving into a bona fide urban community that goes far beyond just one residential address. The neighborhood, a medical hub anchored by Good Sam Hospital, is finally starting to feel more alive than ever as more residential projects come online. There’s no stronger evidence of that urban evolution happening than the opening of a brand new grocery store — called Grocery Outlet — that will serve both City West and the rest of the Downtown LA area.
As Downtown LA continues to push forward with its amazing urban renaissance, it’s actually becoming more difficult for individual projects to stand out as DTLA’s next “biggest thing” in an increasingly crowded space of exciting redevelopment projects vying for attention. I never thought I would see the day when there would be so many things going on in downtown that only the really big hitters seem to make a ripple effect throughout downtown. One such project that opened last week — a gorgeous new hotel developed by the trendsetting Sydell Group — definitely qualifies for that coveted spotlight. Come take a tour inside Downtown LA’s newest luxury hotel: The NoMad Hotel.
One of the most unique commercial retail spaces in all of Los Angeles is getting a new business. Many people still don’t know this, but there is only one subway station in all of LA that has an actual retail space located within the station. As an ardent pedestrian and transit advocate, I am super excited to report that the 7th Street/Metro Center station (the busiest in LA), located in the very heart of Downtown LA’s bustling Financial District, is getting a brand new Dunkin’ Donuts shop!
What a great way to start off the new year in DTLA! Some really exciting news coming from the 9th and Broadway area, which has become one of Downtown LA’s main hubs for our much-needed growing retail scene. One of the most popular furniture stores in North America, West Elm, has finally signed a lease to occupy a ground floor commercial space right across the street from the posh Ace Hotel. As someone who has furnished most of his apartment with items from West Elm, I can say from personal experience that I am super excited that a new store will open within Downtown LA!
Korean BBQ lovers who live and work downtown will be happy to learn that you’ll soon be able to get your grilled carnivorous fix without having to leave downtown. Over in the burgeoning South Park district, the highly rated Genwa Korean BBQ (ranked one of the best KBBQ spots in LA by Eater LA) will be joining a growing list of new businesses that are helping to shape the fledgling urban community into one of Downtown LA’s most exciting neighborhoods.
This week is another exciting moment in the history of Downtown LA’s urban revitalization, especially as it pertains to our growing retail scene. Over at Brookfield-owned FIGat7th in the heart of DTLA’s Financial District, one of the biggest names in fashion retail, Nordstrom Rack, will be opening its doors for business this week, which will undoubtedly help pave the way for more high-quality retailers to take notice of Downtown LA.
This could be the most exciting announcement for retail news in Downtown LA this year (and we’ve had a lot of heavy hitters including Nordstrom Rack and 3.1 Phillip Lim). It really looks like DTLA will finally get what its been clamoring for. According to a few reliable sources I’ve spoken to, the world’s most popular tech brand, Apple, has officially signed a lease to take over the historic Tower Theatre at 8th and Broadway in the Historic Core.
Today, a new exciting retailer opens for business for the first time in Downtown LA’s Historic Core. A brand new COS store will be opening today at 12 pm in a former historic theater built in 1927. After a lengthy restoration process by historic preservation experts, Spectra Company, the once dilapidated Olympic Theatre has been transformed into a stunning new flagship store for H&M’s upscale subsidiary brand. The exterior of the theater now includes a beautifully restored “Olympic” blade sign that lights up at night with bright yellow neon accents adding renewed life to the street.
The intersection of 11th and Hope has become the center of South Park’s growing residential community. Ever since a 7-story parking structure was transformed into a retail center (with an eye-catching mural) a couple of years ago, the immediate surrounding area has become increasingly active, helping to spawn even more creative urban ideas that strengthen South Park’s identity (like this awesome new parklet). It’s truly amazing how sometimes big positive changes come from something as simple as rethinking a lifeless, run-of-the-mill parking structure. Now another great new retailer, online boutique Le Box Blanc, has just opened its first retail location at 11th and Hope contributing to South Park’s growth and revival.
Last week, we found out that an exciting new Vans flagship store is planning to open in spring 2018 at 8th and Broadway next to the historic Tower Theatre. Now, I’m so excited to learn that another two new stores have signed on to open near 9th and Broadway just about a block south from the future Vans store. Theory and A.L.C., both upscale fashion brands, will be coming to Downtown LA.
Broadway still has a long way to go before it reaches its full potential as the most amazing street in all of Los Angeles. What makes Broadway inherently special is the unique history and architecture that define the street. However, in order to fully appreciate its grandeur, Angelenos must be able to interact with the street in various practical ways including shopping, dining, and entertainment. That’s why I’m always excited when I learn of a new store that will draw more people to the street, creating relevancy that’s been missing for decades. The dream of fully activating Broadway will be getting another step closer as everyone’s favorite Vans store is planning to open here near 8th and Broadway.
As Downtown LA continues to create more housing bringing in thousands of new residents, it becomes increasingly important to support that growing residential population with a wide variety of amenities and services that make living in downtown convenient and dynamic. That’s why I’m very excited to learn that a new grocery store is looking to open on the southern fringe of the Historic Core in Downtown LA.
At first I thought it must be a leftover prank from an April Fool’s joke or something. Walking by the former space once occupied by NOLA (the long-shuttered New Orleans restaurant) on 3rd Street in this burgeoning section of the Arts District, I saw the simple white sign announcing “3.1 Phillip Lim Opening April 2017.” I couldn’t believe it, but after checking Lim’s website, it confirmed that it wasn’t a joke after all. Indeed, the coveted and world-renowned designer is opening his new Los Angeles flagship store here in the heart of Downtown LA’s Arts District.
If you’ve ever been to Grand Central Terminal in NYC or Union Station in Washington DC, you’ll see that they’re not just homogeneous train stations but a dynamic destination filled with a wide range of shops and restaurants that attract both locals and tourists. (Have you experienced the beautiful Apple flagship store inside Grand Central Terminal before?) In fact, both stations are considered top tourist destinations in their respective cities. Over here in LA, it’s good to see that we’re finally starting to add businesses into our beautiful Union Station, which has been improving and becoming better and better almost every year.