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.
The Historic Core’s Broadway Spring Arcade, once lined with a hodgepodge of swap meet vendors, is now finally beginning to shape up nicely as more artisanal eateries slowly begin to open inside this historic linear corridor that acts as a pedestrian cut-through between Broadway and Spring Street. Over the last almost three years, it seems like only one or two eateries have opened per a year starting with Crepes Sans Frontieres, but it’s finally starting to turn a corner (i.e., heading toward a critical mass akin to Grand Central Market’s amazing success). Earlier this month, Garçons de Café opened on the side closer to Broadway in the arcade bringing to the Historic Core a novel French retail-wine-bar concept.
You probably smelled the subtle aroma of sweet donuts and coffee today if you were standing on the corner of 8th and Olive in Downtown LA. That’s because DTLA’s very first Dunkin’ Donuts (sometimes referred to as just “Dunkin” or “DD”) had its grand opening today opening its doors bright and early at 5 am with an outdoor ribbon cutting ceremony held at 9:30 am. Throughout the day, hundreds of people — most of them office workers and residents who live and work downtown — streamed into the new Dunkin’ happily carrying out boxes of donuts and cups of coffee.
As the listing agent for the Olympic Theatre in Downtown LA owned by Titan Metropolis LLC, I am especially excited to report that we have signed a new retailer that will become another strong addition to Downtown LA’s growing shopping district. H&M is so bullish on downtown’s future — and why shouldn’t they be when their massive flagship store in DTLA has been doing extremely well — that they are now going to turn the dilapidated Olympic Theatre into their much more exclusive and fashion forward brand called COS (like “coss”), which stands for Collection of Style.
It’s been a little while since something big was announced at 9th and Broadway, which has become the epicenter of Downtown LA’s new high-end retail shopping hub in the making anchored by the catalytic Ace Hotel that opened in 2014. A trusted source has revealed the next exciting retailer to be added to this growing shopping mecca becoming akin to New York’s trendy SoHo district. Next up, opening on the ground floor of the stunning Eastern Columbia Art Deco masterpiece will be the upscale German eyewear brand Mykita opening only their second retail store in the country.