This past Friday, another heavy hitting retailer was added to 9th and Broadway, the rapidly evolving intersection and epicenter of Broadway’s amazing revitalization comeback. The Australian apothecary and beauty skincare line, Aesop, opened at 11 am and joins a growing list of upscale retail shops and other businesses helping to transform this once seedy and desolate area into the next hottest destination in Downtown LA.
Walking along Spring Street between 7th and 8th is still sort of a bummer for a pedestrian. It’s one block along an otherwise vibrant Spring St that’s in serious need of help because it’s rudely interrupted by a bunch of ugly surface parking lots and a serious lack of ground floor retail activation. In other words, it’s pretty dead. Even so, some early signs of positive change for this block include eateries like Juice Crafters and Fresh Panini as well as the forthcoming Spring Ivy next to the renovated Corporation Building into creative office. Oh, and we’re crossing our fingers that the new CVS at 7th/Spring won’t turn into another “Ride Aid” (looking at you 5th/Broadway). But what about those pesky parking lots that suck pedestrian life out of city blocks? That’s why I’m super excited to learn that one of the largest parking lots left along Spring St (at 8th adjacent to the 168-unit historic Chapman Lofts) is now being marketed to developers in search of “one of the last remaining development sites in Downtown Los Angeles.”
The intersection of 9th and Broadway is hot, hot, hot! OAK NYC quietly opened its LA flagship store earlier today on Saturday on the ground floor of Tarina Tarantino’s Sparkle Factory. It wasn’t that long ago when this intersection was sadly forlorn and dominated by swap meets and check cashing centers. Now, it’s transforming into the epicenter of high fashion retail in Downtown LA with powerful ripple effects being felt throughout the country (and world) where even exclusive fashion circles are taking notice. The writing is on the wall: Downtown LA is coming back, and it’s coming back strong with a vengeance.
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.
Last year in December, we first released some exciting rumors that two more amazing fashion brands — OAK NYC and French fashion line A.P.C. — were sniffing around 9th and Broadway, which has seriously become the epicenter of Broadway’s amazing urban renaissance. Well, I’m so excited to report that both brands are confirmed and will be joining the growing list of amazing brands coalescing around this intersection (see list below).
The very highly anticipated Ace Hotel — the uber trendy boutique lodging chain originally from Portland — soft opened today in their new digs at the historic 1927 United Artist Theatre building near smoking hot 9th/Broadway. As you may remember, DTLA Rising broke the news that Ace Hotel was coming to Downtown LA back in Oct 2011. Two years later, the wait is finally over and was well worth the wait!
Upscale Swedish clothing retailer Acne Studios is now officially open at 9th and Broadway on the ground floor of the beautiful art deco Eastern Columbia building. The new downtown location becomes the brand’s global flagship store at a whopping 5,000 square feet stocked with the hippest of fashion for both men and women and the first location to include an in-store Swedish Il Caffe. A private friends and family grand opening was held last night inside the new store with hundreds in attendance. I haven’t experienced this much positive energy on Broadway since the grand opening of Umamicatessen back in March 2012. The excitement within the air was palpable as live music played, champagne was poured, and well-groomed male servers wearing pink outfits (to match the store’s pink terrazzo floor) came around with sweet confections shaped like a mushroom referencing the store’s “Giant triple mushroom” art installation by Belgian artist Carsten Höller.
There’s always that one pioneer that starts it all. Almost a decade and half ago, Pete’s Cafe was the lone eatery in the Old Bank District before the area became Josef Centeno’s culinary empire. Then in 2008 Bottega Louie set the precedent (and the bar high) for 7th Street, which became Downtown LA’s Restaurant Row. When it comes to retail, that’s exactly what Daniel Patrick is doing for the southern portion of Broadway (south of Olympic Blvd) where the area — the cusp of South Park and the Fashion District — is still considered the fringe of downtown revitalization, but not for long.
Okay, we all know that 9th/Broadway is totally on fire! The once desolate intersection at the cusp of the Historic Core and Fashion District is quickly becoming the hub of some serious retail activity in Downtown LA as both Acne Studios and Urban Outfitters prepare for an opening later this month and Aesop and Tanner Goods are planning a Jan 2014 opening. Don’t forget Ace Hotel is also opening on Jan 15, 2014 and Tarina Tarantino’s Sparkle Factory opening summer 2014. So could this get any better? The answer is a resounding yes! Add two more high-end retailers to the growing list: indie store OAK NYC and global French fashion line A.P.C.
The exciting evolution of Downtown LA’s retail scene continues with the opening of Aesop’s new chic pop-up shop on 9th Street located next door to their future permanent store currently under construction on the corner of 9th/Broadway. The pop-up, which just opened last Thursday, takes over a vacant space once occupied by Connie’s Cut ‘n Style hair salon and will be open through the holidays until the permanent store debuts in Jan 2014.
Back in Oct 2011, DTLA Rising broke the news that Ace Hotel was potentially taking over the historic United Artist Theater near 9th and Broadway in the Historic Core borderline Fashion District. Obviously that “rumor” turned out to be one of the most exciting and highly anticipated redevelopment projects in Downtown LA. Two years later, construction on the hotel project is finally nearing completion with an opening date slated for early next year. In fact, the Ace Hotel website is now accepting reservations beginning Jan 15, 2014 with current room rates ranging from $212 to $569.
The intersection of 8th and Spring in the Historic Core, once the desolate fringe of Downtown LA urban revitalization, is really beginning to take shape nicely. Sure it can still be a little quiet, but exciting developments continue to keep the momentum alive and moving the block forward. For example, this past summer in July, the much anticipated grand opening of Terroni — a Toronto-based culinary favorite serving southern Italian — helped activate the corner with a stunning new flagship restaurant, now a hot dining destination crowded on any given night. And now another exciting addition is added to 8th and Spring with the soft opening of Peking Tavern, which is located within the basement of the NCT Lofts building directly underneath Terroni.
Ninth and Broadway is on fire! I have confirmed with ANJAC, the downtown-based entity that owns the gorgeous art deco Ninth and Broadway historic edifice, that the two corner retail spaces on the ground floor (next door to UMAMIcatessen) have been successfully leased out to two very exciting retailers. The space directly at the corner of 9th and Broadway, where a check cashing center used to be, will become a beautiful new Aésop cosmetics store. The space adjacent to Aésop will become Tanner Goods, which is a high-end apparel store from Portland, Oregon. Both spaces are just over 1,000 square feet each.
Blends store near 4th and Main in the Old Bank District is a hyper-trendy boutique selling the latest sneakers and apparel including Comme des Garçons. The shop, on the ground floor of the Banco Popular building, is one of the first pioneering retailers to open downtown in 2006. It’s also the first business that I recruited first-hand to Downtown LA when I began my downtown career in 2004 at the Downtown Center Business Improvement District (say that three times fast). I met the owner of Blends store, Tak, at The Lab in Costa Mesa, which is a supposed “anti-mall” designed to “look urban” stuck in an ocean of Orange County suburbia. I convinced Tak that Downtown LA — with its truly authentic urban setting — would be a perfect fit for his store. We eventually found him the spot near 4th and Main, and the rest is history.
Broadway is getting hotter every year with new retail announcements like Acne Studios and Urban Outfitters coming later this year. In early 2012, jewelry brand Sparkle Factory announced that they would take over the entire 7-story historic L.L. Burns Western Costume Company (built in 1914), which is a building rich with LA history as one of the most prominent outfitters for the stage and screen during Hollywood’s Golden Age. Located at 9th and Broadway, Sparkle Factory will become not only a flagship retail store for owner Tarina Tarantino’s colorful jewelry and accessories, but also a hub for local designers to showcase their own wares.