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!
Posted in architecture, arts district, downtown los angeles, economic development, financial district, historic core, mixed-use development, office, parks, pershing square, politics, public spaces, retail, south park, video
A tipster spotted billionaire developer Rick Caruso and snapped a pic of him across the street from the Broadway Trade Center
Yesterday around 4 pm, developer Rick Caruso was spotted at the corner of 8th and Broadway in Downtown LA. A tipster, who recognized Caruso immediately in his suit, snapped a cell phone photo of the billionaire developer standing across the street from the Broadway Trade Center (BTC), which is a massive 1.1 million square foot historic structure recently purchased by NY-based Waterbridge Capital with exciting plans in store.
Posted in downtown los angeles, economic development, historic core, retail
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NY-based WeWork will take over roughly half of the entire Fine Arts Building in Downtown LA as their second and largest LA location
One of the coolest co-working companies in the country is coming to Downtown LA — in a big way. According to the LA Times, New York-based WeWork has leased six floors of office space in one of the most beautiful historic gems in Los Angeles: the Fine Arts Building. The shared-office company known for catering to “budding entrepreneurs,” opened their first location in Manhattan in 2010 and proudly claims to be the “world’s first physical social network.” WeWork is strategically locating in tech hubs across the country like San Francisco, Boston, and Seattle. Here in LA — also a tech hub — this will be their second location with another one in Hollywood that opened in 2012.
Posted in architecture, downtown los angeles, economic development, financial district, office
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Ralphs on 9th Street has just completed an exciting $2.5 million remodeling project after being open for seven years in Downtown LA
Ralphs Fresh Fare opened in Downtown LA as part of the Market Lofts condos in July 2007 and played a major critical role in allowing the downtown revitalization to continue moving forward. The small, but growing population at the time could finally buy groceries (a simple but important necessity) without having to leave their own downtown community. In a nutshell, Ralphs made Downtown LA much more livable and allowed the residential community to grow into what it is today, attracting more businesses to open. Now more than seven years after opening, the downtown Ralphs has gone through a beautiful $2.5 million remodeling upgrade that will keep it up-to-date with the rapidly evolving Downtown LA landscape that’s getting ever more crowded. The competition is heating up as more markets have opened downtown since Ralphs (Smart & Final Extra, Urban Radish), with more coming in the future (Whole Foods, Grow Market, likely Trader Joe’s), and some oldies-but-goodies being rediscovered again (Woori Market).
Posted in architecture, downtown los angeles, economic development, food, retail, south park
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According to multiple credible sources, Trader Joe’s is currently interested in the 7th/Olive “LA Jewelry Mart” building
Like my favorite 90’s kid show Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, the hunt for the elusive Trader Joe’s continues in Downtown LA. We were oh so close, but no cigar. Unfortunately, the other deal fell through at The Bloc where it was originally “supposed to” go. Apparently, the location of the proposed market in the back of the shopping center — with its slanted grade change — didn’t jibe with our wonderful purveyors of Two-Buck Chucks. But wait! With the fast-approaching arrival of Whole Foods just down the street, it looks like Trader Joe’s may not want to end up too far away after all — hopefully it sticks this time. According to multiple credible sources, Trader Joe’s is currently eyeing and in early negotiations with a strategically located historic structure at the edge of the moribund Jewelry District.
Posted in architecture, downtown los angeles, economic development, financial district, food, historic core, mixed-use development, office, real estate, retail
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Fourth & Traction, aka the former Coca-Cola factory, is slated to become a creative office and retail hub with this rendering showing an activated corner (Photo: HLW International)
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.
Posted in architecture, arts district, downtown los angeles, economic development, mixed-use development, office, pedestrian oriented, real estate, retail
Tagged coca cola building arts district, coca cola factory arts district, coca cola factory at fourth and traction, coca cola factory downtown la, creative office arts district, creative office downtown la, fourth and traction arts district, fourth and traction building, fourth and traction downtown la
The limited Alexander Wang x H&M collection arrives tomorrow on Thursday, Nov 6 at the flagship H&M store in Downtown LA
Calling all fashion freaks in Los Angeles! Are you ready for the debut tomorrow of the limited Alexander Wang x H&M men’s and women’s collection coming to Downtown LA’s new H&M flagship store? Diehard Wang lovers will be camping out tonight to be first in line to receive a FREE Alexander Wang backpack stuffed with a yummy mystery gift for the first 10 lucky customers. The much anticipated Thursday launch (from LA to NYC) of the new H&M designer collaboration with one of the most renowned designers in fashion will begin promptly at 8 am when doors open early for this sure-to-be-chaotic (read: hair grabbing) occasion.
Posted in downtown los angeles, economic development, events, fashion, financial district, retail
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A new Gap Factory Store is opening at 737 S Broadway (near 8th Street)
After finding out that a Gap Factory Store is slated to open on Broadway (near 8th Street) instead of a regular Gap, some people (including myself) were a bit disappointed for obvious reasons. Why would Gap put an outlet store in Downtown LA? With so many new higher end retail stores opening nearby (i.e., Acne Studios, Aesop, OAK NYC, etc), why wouldn’t Gap open a regular store — maybe even a flagship store to make a huge impressive statement like what Zara and H&M did at FIGat7th? Both stores are now one of the highest performing locations in their respective chains in Southern California proving that “untested” Downtown LA is definitely capable of being a viable market for retail.
Posted in downtown los angeles, economic development, fashion, historic core, retail
Tagged gap factory store broadway downtown la, gap factory store downtown la, gap factory store dtla, gap factory store los angeles, gap store broadway downtown la, gap store downtown la, gap store dtla, gap store los angeles
SoCal Connected just aired this great episode about Grand Central Market on KCET last night. Reporter Nic Cha Kim chats with the local downtown community (including myself) as well as vendors within the historic food hall (Eggslut, Belcampo, etc), asking some pertinent questions like: How do the new (relatively more expensive) vendors affect Grand Central Market and what does it mean for Downtown LA?
Check out the video above and learn more about Downtown LA’s historic 1917 Grand Central Market on KCET’s website.
Posted in art and culture, downtown los angeles, economic development, food, historic core, restaurants, video
Tagged grand central market directory, grand central market downtown la, grand central market dtla, grand central market location, grand central market los angeles, grand central market new vendors, grand central market parking
A new rendering of the Wilshire Grand Tower revealed with a new Intercontinental Hotel opening in 2017 as part of the project (Photo: AC Martin)
Long anticipated, today it was finally revealed what hotel brand would take over the upper portion of Downtown LA’s newest and most exciting ground-up development in years — the Wilshire Grand Tower. The new hotel will be an Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts with 900 rooms. It’ll be the first hotel on the west coast to have a sky lobby (on the 70th floor) and will be considered the largest Intercontinental in the Americas according to a press release.
Posted in architecture, downtown los angeles, economic development, financial district, hotels, mixed-use development
Tagged intercontinental hotel downtown la, intercontinental hotel dtla, intercontinental hotel los angeles, intercontinental hotel wilshire grand, wilshire grand downtown la, wilshire grand los angeles
The Rite Aid at 7th/Hope in Downtown LA has completed a significant remodeling job transforming it into the company’s new “Wellness concept” creating a higher quality shopping experience
Drugstores are ubiquitous and a daily part of life in most large city centers in America. Go to New York and you won’t be more than a block or two away from a Duane Reade store. Go to Chicago and the same is true for Walgreens (which actually owns Duane Reade). Even internationally speaking in Taipei (where my dad lives), you’re never too far from a Watsons store. Here in our growing Downtown LA, we have two Rite Aid stores — one at 7th/Hope and one at 5th/Broadway — and both stores have been a complete let down, unfortunately. The one at 5th and Broadway has been a huge thorn in the side of downtown revitalization as residents nearby have continuously complained about the store’s shoddy appearance and lack of concern toward the “shady activities” that take place right outside their front door. Some have even called it a “cesspool.” That’s why it’s so exciting for me to find out that some real positive changes are finally coming. In fact, half of it is already here. The Rite Aid store at 7th/Hope, which was the lesser of two evils, has just completed a, dare I say, beautiful remodeling job that has changed the shopping experience there completely.
A rendering of Topaz as seen from Main Street with ground floor retail and corner/penthouse units having balconies (Photo: TSK)
A rendering of Topaz on the Los Angeles Street side with a large “light curtain” seen in the center cutout of the building (Photo: TSK)
With the exception of the Medallion apartments at 4th/Main, there have been no ground-up market rate housing developments built in the Historic Core in Downtown LA. Pretty much all new lofts and condos in the Historic Core that have come on the market over the last decade have been conversion projects taking advantage of the adaptive reuse ordinance. All that’s about to change, however, as numerous high-rise projects have been proposed in the Historic Core that will be the next evolution of Downtown LA’s urban revitalization, filling in all those anti-pedestrian surface parking lots. We won’t have to wait too long for some action because the exciting new chapter for the Historic Core begins now with Topaz, a new mixed-user, that broke ground last Friday near 6th/Main.
Posted in architecture, downtown los angeles, economic development, fashion district, historic core, mixed-use development, pedestrian oriented, real estate, smart growth
Tagged topaz apartments downtown la, topaz apartments los angeles, topaz downtown la, topaz dtla, topaz jade enterprises, topaz lofts downtown la, topaz los angeles, topaz mixed use project downtown la, topaz mixed user downtown la
The Watermarke Tower at 9th/Flower in South Park was sold to ASB Real Estate Investments for a record breaking price of $160.5 million
We all know the Downtown LA real estate market is already hot, but it just got way hotter in here. Escrow closed yesterday on Watermarke Properties’ trophy property, Watermarke Tower, in South Park selling for a record breaking price of $160.5 million. Purchased by Bethesda, MD-based ASB Real Estate Investments (they also just bought a huge property in the Arts District), the 35-story luxury apartment high-rise with 214 units is apparently the most expensive apartment community sold in the state of California — ever. To be specific, it is one of, if not the state’s most expensive trade based on a per unit basis coming in at approximately $750,000 for each unit. The deal was brokered by HFF Managing Director Mark Peterson.
Yesterday was so much fun. I was invited by FOX 11 to come on their noon show to talk about Downtown LA (my favorite subject of course) and all the newest exciting things happening that are putting our once ignored urban center back on the map. Check out the video above and here are the topics we covered:
- New high-rises proposed in the Historic Core
- New developments blocking sidewalks an issue for pedestrians
- Broadway’s amazing road diet and pedestrian plazas
- Retail continues with Macy’s Plaza $180 million makeover
- And Trader Joe’s rumors!
Thank you again so much to FOX 11 News!
Posted in architecture, art and culture, downtown los angeles, economic development, fashion, financial district, food, historic core, interview, mixed-use development, pedestrian oriented, restaurants, retail, smart growth, south park, video
8th+Hope is a new gleaming glass tower in South Park adding 290 rental units to the downtown market
Almost two years after developer Wood Partners first began construction, the new 8th+Hope apartment tower began accepting resident move-ins earlier this month in August. Designed by Atlanta-based The Preston Partnership, the modern gleaming tower clad throughout in blue-green glass rises 22 stories high and adds another 290 rental units to the market including: 1, 2, and 2½ bedrooms with square footages ranging from 707 to 1,634. Every single unit gets a private balcony. Impressive.
Posted in architecture, downtown los angeles, economic development, mixed-use development, pedestrian oriented, real estate, smart growth, south park
Tagged 8th and hope apartments, 8th and hope downtown la, 8th and hope dtla, 8th and hope los angeles, 8th and hope rental apartments, 8th and hope south park, 8th and hope tower downtown la, 8th and hope wood partners, 8th+hope downtown la