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!
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.
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.
The revolution being experienced in Mexican cuisine is that our stomachs are no longer relegated to only street tacos; elevated Mexican food is taking the cuisine to new heights and DTLA’s Mezcalero is continuing that tradition with its recent opening near the up-and-coming intersection of 5th and Broadway.
Back in June 2015, we reported the exciting news that Blue Bottle Coffee was coming to the Bradbury Building in Downtown LA, which would become its second DTLA location after the Arts District. Well fast forward a year and half later, and the popular third-wave coffee chain has finally opened at the corner of 3rd and Broadway signaling yet another strong sign that Broadway is actually, really turning a corner in its long-awaited revitalization.
Sneakerheads rejoice! The brand new Footaction with Nike Kicks Lounge opened today December 18 on Broadway in Downtown LA. The store coming to Downtown LA’s most significant historical street was announced this past summer in July while the store took only about 5 months to complete build out just in time for the holidays. What was previously a lower-end discount clothing store that still sadly defines much of Broadway today, has been transformed into a polished storefront that stands in complete contrast to most of its immediate surroundings near 8th and Broadway.
Anyone who stands at the corner of 9th and Broadway in Downtown LA can see the writing on the wall. What used to be an intersection devoid of life is now humming with an urban pulse that’s only going to get stronger with time. Not too long ago, the intersection was dominated by check cashing centers and abandoned vacant storefronts. Now a few years later, the scene is quite different with high-end retail businesses anchoring almost all four corners and rippling out into adjacent nearby buildings and intersections including 9th and Main, which is also becoming another hot spot with Verve Coffee serving as the neighborhood’s central gathering place. And things seem to be only looking up as another high-end retailer, this time an exclusive Berlin eyewear brand called MYKITA, has just opened their newest Los Angeles outpost here at 9th and Broadway.
The painfully slow revitalization of Broadway continues. First reported on CAN, I am happy to report more details that a prominent national chain is finally taking over a dilapidated structure — known by many as the “Blue Jeans” building — located at 749 S Broadway near the up-and-coming 8th and Broadway intersection where the Apple Store rumors still persist. A new retail concept from Foot Locker is slated to open here that will hopefully continue to nudge other retailers to open along Broadway in Downtown LA.
One of the biggest disappoints I still have with Carmel’s 8th/Grand project is they didn’t activate the Olive Street side of the mixed-use building with any retail space. Currently the project facing Olive is comprised mostly of a blank wall and a portion of glass windows set aside for the building’s residential fitness center. I really wish that Whole Foods was designed with at least some kind of back entrance that would address the street a bit better instead of focusing all its attention on Grand Ave. In any case, that’s why I am so excited that Chicas Tacos is opening on Olive Street that will help fill in the void created by 8th/Grand.
In another sign that the 8th Street corridor is seriously becoming the next hot spot in Downtown LA (check out my recent interview about 8th Street on the FOX 11 noon show), another favorite eatery will be making its way to the corner of 8th and Hill. Paris Baguette, a bakery that was actually founded in South Korea in 1986, has signed a lease to open its first DTLA location next to the upcoming Shake Shack and Sweetgreen, which are also currently two of the most sought after restaurants in the country. Now adding Paris Baguette bakery to the mix will really sweeten things up even more.
Some exciting news from yesterday out of the LA Business Journal. The business-focused publication all but confirmed our initial report that the Apple Store is taking over the ornate Tower Theatre at 8th and Broadway. In case you missed it, DTLA Rising first came out with the substantiated rumor from an “inside” source posted last year in November that Apple was looking at taking over the historic entertainment venue for their new DTLA store location, which would become one of Apple’s most unique stores in the nation.
We’ve been waiting for this one for what seems like — forever. Even though we only really found out about a year ago that Bunker (or “BNKR”) was opening downtown, but it’s the location that makes this retailer from Australia extra significant and exciting to DTLA’s urban revitalization. The fashion forward brand based in Adelaide (Australia’s fifth largest city) quietly opened its doors for business last Saturday (spotted by Racked LA) at the very hot intersection of 9th and Broadway, which has become one of the main epicenters in Downtown LA’s fragmented but expanding shopping scene.
Onni Group is the first thing I think of when I hear “Vancouver developer” in the Downtown LA development scene (especially after they just added their beautiful 33-story Level tower at 9th and Olive to our growing DTLA skyline). However, a new Canadian player is coming into town. Bonnis Properties, also Vancouver-based, has just completed the acquisition of the historic Foreman & Clark building at 7th and Hill for a whopping $52 million ($353 a square foot) according to broker Derrick Moore of Avison Young who represented Bonnis Properties.