Good news! Another national gym chain is coming to Downtown LA — Planet Fitness (first spotted on Racked LA last week). But this time, instead of choosing to open in the Financial District where currently pretty much all of downtown’s membership gyms are clustered — Equinox, Gold’s Gym, 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness, YMCA, even newcomer City Athletix — Planet Fitness will be taking the brave leap toward the Historic Core near seedy 5th and Broadway. The new gym will take over the long abandoned (horrendous blue colored) Discount Citi building at 437 S Broadway a couple of doors north from Fallas Paredes, which also desperately needs to go. Calling Uniqlo please!
Category Archives: retail
Fashionistas rejoice! A new upscale women’s boutique called AltHouse just opened a couple of months ago at 8th and Main, pushing the new downtown development momentum east into the Fashion District. The new shop, located next door to Skingraft’s also new flagship store, adds to an exciting shopping district in the making within the Historic Core, which includes other nearby stores like Nudie Jeans, Urban Outfitters, Acne Studios, and APC’s new downtown location opening this spring. AltHouse offers a unique experience in both the brands it carries and the beautiful space it occupies.
Brigham Yen on FOX 11: Broadway Trade Center Reviving; Arts District “Exploding”; Farmers Field in Downtown LA?
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!
We all love our beautiful historic movie palaces along Broadway (there are a dozen that line the street), and the Tower Theatre at 8th and Broadway is no exception. The small but opulent historic venue opened in 1927 and was designed by prolific American architect S. Charles Lee (who also designed the grand Los Angeles Theatre up the street). At only 150 feet long x 50 feet wide, the Tower Theatre could seat up to only 906 at its heyday. The owner of the Tower, the Delijani family, closed the theater in late 2012 with plans to convert it to a concert venue. However, to most people who walk by daily, it just looks like a sad abandoned theater — albeit a gorgeous one. But exciting signs of change (and life) popped up recently in the form of tiny retail shops along the 8th Street side of the Tower Theatre.
Just in time for the holiday shopping season, the new Gap Factory Store opened this past weekend on Broadway in Downtown LA. The 8,500 square foot store opened at 10 am on Saturday greeted by crowds of shoppers in search of marked down Gap staples for men and women like classic button-downs, denim, and warm winter gear like sweaters and scarfs. There is also a large children’s section located in the back of the store. DTLA Rising first broke the news in August 2014 that Gap was coming to Broadway.
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.
For many who shop at Ralphs Fresh Fare in Downtown LA, I’m pretty sure you’ve noticed that some pretty cool aesthetic changes have taken place recently. For those who don’t know, DTLA Rising first reported that Ralphs — the South Park grocery store that opened in July 2007 that helped propel the downtown revitalization forward at the time — wrapped up on a major $2.5 million remodeling job late last month. Old floors were replaced with new ones, more checkout stands were added for speedier service, and new additions like Murray’s cheese shop and a fancy wine bar have given Ralphs a, dare I say, hipper vibe inside. But one thing that excited me the most about their recent upgrade is also the simplest thing Ralphs should be doing whether or not they went through the remodeling job, and that is, keeping those exterior lights turned on outside in front of the store.
One of the most highly anticipated (and much, much needed) retail-focused projects in Downtown LA is the exciting $180 million makeover of The Bloc (formerly Macy’s Plaza). We’ve been watching the massive project unfold ever since it was announced exactly a year and a half ago (boy how time flies). We know Sheraton is getting a $40 million upgrade and Austin-based theater Alamo Drafthouse is coming to the third floor. And now some more exciting details have been revealed including two new retail concepts that will surely help put the new shopping center on the fashion map in a very crowded Los Angeles market. San Francisco’s uber cool men’s store Wingtip has signed on to open a massive location (this will be only their second store) in addition to a brand new retail concept from the owners of Apolis and Alchemy Works both located in our very own Arts District.
One of the most important plots of empty land centrally located in Downtown LA’s development landscape is the huge-ass parking lot across from Staples Center in South Park. The 4.6-acre site was purchased about a year ago by Beijing-based Oceanwide from Moinian Group for $200 million, according to the LA Times. That’s an astonishing $43 million per acre. What is set to rise here will not only fill in a huge gaping hole in South Park’s urban landscape, but will also be the next biggest thing in Downtown LA’s development pipeline.
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).
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.
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.
The momentum on Broadway continues. Fans of athletic footwear and apparel will be pleased to know that Shiekh Shoes is coming to Broadway opening next door to the new Gap Factory Store. Replacing a lower-end fashion chain called Rainbow, the new approximately 6,000 square foot Shiekh store will offer higher-end essential brands for men, women, and children including: Nike, Jordan, Adidas, Converse, K-Swiss, Lacoste, Sketchers, and Steve Madden. With over 140 locations in 10 states (mostly in California), Shiekh Shoes are generally located in shopping malls (there’s one at the Beverly Center for instance), but are also beginning to open urban street-facing stores such as the new Hollywood Blvd location that opened earlier this year.
We last checked in with One Santa Fe about 6 months ago when it was still a big construction site and it’s so exciting to see something this huge and game-changing coming to fruition. Designed by renowned architect Michael Maltzan, the massive 438-unit Arts District project (a quarter of a mile long) is already filling up with new residents and signing new leases with unique and exciting shops and eateries. Dubbed “The Yards at One Santa Fe” (a reference to Metro’s train maintenance yard next door), the retail center on the ground floor is preparing to launch one of the most exciting indie retail concepts in all of Los Angeles that’ll give cross-town Abbot Kinney a run for its money. Three more new additions have just signed on: LA’s Wittmore, SF’s Voyager Shop, and a new Asian eatery called BOL, all expected to open in the first quarter of 2015.