Downtown Brooklyn’s Fulton Street Mall is walking a similar path as Downtown LA’s Broadway toward urban revitalization
The last several weeks have been filled with really great news (read: a windfall) one after another regarding new retail stores opening or announcing their arrival in Downtown LA. It started with a big bang when we found out that the high-end Swedish retailer Acne Studios would be opening their largest store in the world at 9th and Broadway; then we had LA designer Alejandro Rodriguez’s Beautiful Fül store grand opening; then another grand opening of the national brand Sub_Urban Riot’s first retail store in the US; and then of course Brooks Brothers opened not long after in the Financial District. It culminated last Thursday with the exciting announcement that Urban Outfitters will be coming to Broadway later this year taking over and rehabbing the beautiful but dilapidated Rialto Theatre, including the restoration of the historic theater marquee.
Posted in downtown los angeles, economic development, Ideas for Downtown LA, real estate, retail
Tagged armani exchange brooklyn, city point fulton mall brooklyn, downtown brooklyn urban revitalization, fulton mall downtown brooklyn, fulton street mall brooklyn, shake shack brooklyn, shake shack fulton mall
Some ideas on how to bolster pedestrian connections — between City West and the rest of Downtown LA — include making the 110 overpasses safer and more attractive for pedestrians (mainly Wilshire Blvd and 7th Street)
As Downtown LA continues to evolve and mature into a multi-faceted urban center that’s not only a commercial hub but a bona fide residential community, it becomes even more important that we focus on creating an environment that is pedestrian friendly making it enjoyable and convenient for residents to live, work, and play in. That enhancement to the pedestrian realm — wider sidewalks, narrower streets, more bike lanes, etc. — in Downtown LA is needed to create the strong walkable connections that eventually spawns a walking culture.
Posted in architecture, art and culture, bicycle oriented, city west, community involvement, downtown los angeles, economic development, environmentally green, financial district, Ideas for Downtown LA, pedestrian oriented, public spaces, smart growth
The One Santa Fe mega mixed-use project will bring 438 new apartments for rent along with almost 80,000 square feet of dining, retail, and possibly a new grocery store to the burgeoning Arts District in Downtown LA
As the Arts District in Downtown LA continues to grow with the addition of more dining and retail — Stumptown Coffee, Eat.Drink.Americano, Poketo, and Apolis: Common Gallery to name a few — the next exciting game changer on the horizon that will have the single largest impact on the burgeoning urban neighborhood is the $160 million One Santa Fe mixed-use project being developed by three entities forming “One Santa Fe PMC, LLC” (“PMC” includes Polis Builders/Nick Patsaouras, The McGregor Company/Bill McGregor and Cowley Real Estate Partners/Chuck Cowley) with two financial partners (Goldman Sachs and Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund).
Posted in architecture, arts district, downtown los angeles, economic development, mass transportation, mixed-use development, office, parks, pedestrian oriented, public spaces, real estate, restaurants, retail, smart growth
Tagged housing for rent near sci-arc, michael maltzan one santa fe, one santa fe apartments downtown la, one santa fe arts district, one santa fe downtown la, one santa fe project downtown la, rentals near sci-arc
(CLICK TO ENLARGE) A new 7-story mixed-use project with 287 market rate units, designed by TCA and developed by Hanover, will rise at the NW corner of Olympic and Hill in Downtown LA (Photo: TCA)
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of meeting Thomas P. Cox who is the CEO of TCA Architects (formerly Thomas P. Cox Architects, Inc.). I met him and his colleagues at their Downtown LA corporate office located on the 10th floor of the Chase Plaza tower with stunning skyline views of Downtown LA. It was the perfect setting and vantage point to sit down and talk about how TCA views urbanism and the future of Downtown LA, and more importantly, how have they been directly involved with the revitalization process.
Posted in architecture, downtown los angeles, economic development, little tokyo, mixed-use development, pedestrian oriented, real estate, smart growth, south park
Tagged tca architects downtown la, tca architects los angeles, thomas cox architects
The new 39,000 SF Ross Dress for Less takes over the historic Woolworth Building on Broadway in Downtown LA
Ross Dress for Less is now officially open on Broadway near 7th Street in Downtown LA after announcing their arrival back in Jan 2012. A grand opening celebration took place on Saturday morning at 9am. The new 39,000 square foot Ross — with retail space on the first and basement levels — has completely restored the beautiful historic Woolworth Building built in 1920. Part of that restoration includes two historic “grand staircases” that connect the first floor with the basement. The historic staircases consist of original terrazzo floors and wood railings. In addition, a large new mural on the store’s wall by the main grand staircase proudly proclaims the city’s efforts at “Bringing Back Broadway Street” with a historical description of the Woolworth Building, which was the first “five and dime” discount store chain in the country.
Posted in architecture, downtown los angeles, economic development, fashion, historic core, retail
Tagged ross broadway downtown la, ross downtown la, ross dress for less downtown la, ross los angeles, ross store downtown la, ross woolworth building, woolworth building downtown la
A TopMan truck was parked in South Park near FIDM school promoting the new TopShop flagship store opening in The Grove on Feb 14, 2013
Today is the long anticipated grand opening and West Coast debut of UK-based Top Shop and Top Man at The Grove. (For those unfamiliar with Top Shop/Top Man, think of a higher quality, pricier version of H&M.) For years, New York was the only city Top Shop was located in, but eventually Chicago and Las Vegas were added last year and now Los Angeles will be the fast fashion retailer’s 4th location in the country.
A rendering of the Wilshire Grand Tower that will rise at 7th and Figueroa in Downtown LA’s Financial District with a height of 1,100 feet tall to the spire (Photo: AC Martin)
Los Angeles, feast your eyes on the new finalized rendering of Wilshire Grand Tower from AC Martin that will rise prominently in Downtown LA’s burgeoning Financial District. So prominent, in fact, that the new “billion dollar tower” will surpass LA’s current tallest skyscraper — Library Tower (aka US Bank Tower) at 1,018 feet — as the new tallest on the West Coast (taller than any other structure west of Chicago). At 73 floors and 1,100 feet tall including the spire, which counts toward the building’s official height according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the new Wilshire Grand Tower will be a substantial addition to the LA skyline, reorienting the visual weight currently centered around the Library Tower toward this new gleaming structure to the southwest. The tower will be capped by an iconic sail-shaped architectural feature that will be illuminated with LED lighting at night (a common sight in Asia’s flagship cities like Shanghai).
Posted in architecture, downtown los angeles, economic development, financial district, hotels, mixed-use development, office, real estate, smart growth
Tagged tallest building in california, tallest building in los angeles, tallest buildings in america, wilshire grand ac martin, wilshire grand hotel downtown la, wilshire grand hotel los angeles, wilshire grand korean air, wilshire grand tower downtown la, wilshire grand tower los angeles
One of the first redesign options for Pershing Square is to get rid of the walls to increase visibility and accessibility, returning it closer to the original form seen here in 1965 (Photo: LAPL)
Pershing Square has gone through several major overhauls since its inception in 1866 when it was then called La Plaza Abaja, or “The Lower Plaza.” In its current state (another major overhaul designed by Ricardo Legorreta and completed in 1992), purple, yellow and beige walls surround most of the square with giant pink cylinders lining the wall on Hill St, blocking accessibility and visual connections. In addition, long driveways on all four sides of the park — leading cars into an underground parking garage — run parallel to the sidewalk (instead of space saving perpendicular driveways) creating uncrossable rifts between the sidewalk and square. It’s as if the park was designed deliberately to cater to the automobile with the intention of keeping people out of the park.
Posted in architecture, community involvement, downtown los angeles, economic development, education, environmentally green, financial district, guest writer, historic core, Ideas for Downtown LA, parks, pedestrian oriented, pershing square, public spaces, smart growth
Tagged bryant park new york, friends of pershing square, pershing square downtown la, pershing square dtla, pershing square los angeles, pershing square pictures, union square san francisco
TASTE at FIGat7th has become one of the hottest spots to grab lunch in Downtown LA
I grabbed lunch today at the new Juicy Lucy gourmet burger spot located inside the still brand new upscale food court at FIGat7th called TASTE. I could not believe how busy the lunch crowd was here around 1PM. Mind you, there are only 5 eateries that have opened up so far — George’s Greek Grill, The Melt, Juicy Lucy, Indus, and Oleego — and there are already this many people coming to eat here for lunch? That shows you the amount of demand in the area and why I want more companies to move back into Downtown LA to boost our local economy. I can only imagine what the place will be like once all the other planned restaurants open, which include for now, Mendocino Farms, Flying Pig, The Pizza Studio, and Sprinkles Cupcakes with more restaurants to be announced soon in the next few months. That synergy will likely translate into a much stronger dinner crowd as well, especially when the other planned retailers open.
Posted in cheap eats, downtown los angeles, economic development, financial district, food, restaurants, retail
Tagged figat7th downtown la, figat7th dtla, figat7th los angeles, figat7th restaurants, taste at figat7th
Post WWII, Grand Central Terminal faded away from the hearts and minds of New Yorkers and was almost demolished in the 60s, but today, the station is now more relevant than ever as one of New York’s top destinations — a path LA Union Station will hopefully follow
I just got back to LA after spending a week in New York. Every time I visit America’s largest urban center, I am inspired by the incredible urbanism that defines the city. The infrastructure and built environment, mix of architecture, diversity of businesses, and strong pedestrian culture never ceases to amaze me. For us in LA, as we continue to press for change — improving our own urbanism in a city still dominated by a suburban, car-oriented mentality — it would behoove us to look at successful models and examples from other cities that could be applied to Downtown LA. One of those prime examples is Grand Central Terminal in Midtown at 42nd Street, which has experienced an amazing turnaround from irrelevancy and near demolition in the 1960s to one of the greatest rail stations in the world today.
Posted in architecture, bicycle oriented, community involvement, downtown los angeles, economic development, environmentally green, Ideas for Downtown LA, mass transportation, mixed-use development, pedestrian oriented, retail, smart growth, union station
Tagged grand central manhattan, grand central new york, grand central station new york, grand central terminal new york, union station downtown la, union station los angeles