This past weekend was the official launch of the Arts District Flea, which is a permanent indoor flea market located at 453 Colyton Street just a short block west from the central gathering hub otherwise known as Urth Caffe. The three-day event started on Friday and attracted hundreds of people throughout the weekend ending on Sunday. The high turn out shows the kind of demand there is for community oriented events like this in a rapidly growing Arts District. Local vendors and artisans from throughout Los Angeles (and many from the Arts District itself) set up stalls in the cavernous 15,000 square foot industrial warehouse space with concrete floors and 14.5 foot high exposed wood-beam ceilings. With a capacity for up to 60 separate vendors (each stall is 8′ x 8′), the Arts District Flea will continue to offer a dynamic and wide range of both new and vintage items for sale.
Category Archives: retail
Since Urban Outfitters and Acne Studios opened on Broadway in late December of last year, a whirlwind of new retailers have setup shop almost overnight nearby 9th and Broadway and the new Ace Hotel. OAK NYC, Tanner Goods, Aesop, and A.P.C. to name a few. But all up and down Broadway is fair game for other retailers including the apparent signing of Burlington Coat Factory at 7th/Broadway. Now, rumors are picking up that other large well-known brands – which once eschewed Downtown LA like the plague — have not only taken notice of all this new retail activity, but are actively looking for suitable spaces in Downtown LA as well. Where? Specifically along retail-conducive streets like Broadway and 7th Street where large redevelopment projects like The Bloc and Wilshire Grand Tower continue to generate buzz. Names like Gap, Banana Republic, J. Crew, Forever 21, and Anthropologie have all come up as brands searching or eyeing Downtown LA. No exact locations are yet confirmed for any of these brands, but the fact is, eventually they will find a home here. Only a matter of time. Also, within the next month or so, both Zara and H&M will be opening their exciting new LA flagship stores at FIGat7th that will further add fuel to the growing retail fire in Downtown LA.
South Park in Downtown LA just keeps getting hotter and hotter! Recently announced are a slew of new proposed shiny high-rises set to break ground in the next year or so that will give our growing skyline a major shot in the arm — how exciting! Now let’s add another tower to the mix, this time at the northeast corner of 9th and Hope also in South Park (directly adjacent to the u/c boutique “Empire Hotel“). The new 33-story residential tower — to be called “888 South Hope” — will be developed by CIM Group, which just recently purchased Two Cal Plaza on Bunker Hill and also developed the Market-Gas Company Lofts across the street.
Some very exciting news coming out of South Park that will help enliven the streets just a little bit more. Just two blocks from the Staples Center, an existing parking structure at 11th and Hope that currently houses two restaurants on the ground floor — Il Mare and Arashi Sushi — will be expanding its commercial retail space for lease by another 11,200 square feet. The 5-story parking structure with 598 spaces will be converting the ground level parking area along Hope Street into retail and restaurant space. Essentially, the entire perimeter of the parking structure will be wrapped with commercial spaces with a focus on adding new eateries. You lose a little bit of parking to benefit the growing community with neighborhood serving businesses that make living in Downtown LA enjoyable and convenient. I call that a win-win.
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.
After more than two and a half years of construction, Chinatown’s very first market rate housing development called Jia Apartments is now officially open. Developed, owned, and managed by Equity Residential, the new mixed-use project — with a new Starbucks opening in early April and a couple more restaurants in lease negotiations — rises six stories adjacent to the striking Chinatown gateway with its twin golden dragons guarding the Broadway entry. Jia Apartments, which cost $93 million to develop, signals a new economic incline for Chinatown as more money is being invested into this northern district of Downtown LA. Finally, Chinatown joins the rest of downtown’s development wave that has reinvigorated the city center with new life and regional relevancy.
Could it be? Could it be? No more schlepping to Silver Lake or Pasadena for Trader Joe’s? It could be!
Remember back in 2011 when Trader Joe’s snubbed Downtown LA by specifically stating that “downtown wasn’t in their 3-year plan?” Many downtown residents were livid that Trader Joe’s stubbornly refused to open here even though a DCBID demographic survey made it quite clear that Trader Joe’s was (and still is) the #1 most desired market chain. Well, the “three year ban” is coming to an end soon and Downtown LA is now a completely different animal than even just three years ago. Since 2011, the list of new downtown developments and businesses that have opened, or are planning to open (including the new Whole Foods under construction at 8th/Grand), has transformed Downtown LA from the victim of skepticism to the center of attention (even making the NY Times Top Global Places to Visit in 2014). So has Trader Joe’s finally taken notice of all this positive attention? The short answer is: Yes.
Downtown LA is getting a new, dare I say, sexy parking structure in north South Park at 8th and Francisco. I usually wouldn’t consider a new parking structure newsworthy, but this project is being designed with a lot more thought and concern for aesthetics, so I thought it should be highlighted as an example for other parking structures to follow. Designed by Downtown LA-based architect firm, LeanArch, the parking structure is being developed by landowner and giant parking operator Joe’s Auto Parks as a mixed-use project consisting of not only parking but with office and retail components as well according to a development executive I spoke to at the company.
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.
A brand new shiny Walgreens just opened this past Friday at the crime ridden intersection of 5th and Broadway — a part of Downtown LA’s Historic Core that has resisted change from its gang and drug infested past even as the rest of downtown continues to revitalize. The grand opening on Jan 31 at 10 am was an event marked with DJ music, balloons, free food samples, and lots of smiles and cheer. The celebratory mood inside stood in stark contrast to the seedy elements that still lurked outside as the daily east-west migratory pattern from Skid Row to Pershing Square continued as usual uninterrupted. However, given Walgreens’ different operating strategy from “the problem” Rite Aid across the street, the new Chicago-based drug store is hopefully a sign of more positive changes to come for one of Downtown LA’s worst intersections.
The historic Olympic Theatre located near the NW corner of 8th and Broadway is now available for lease as a unique flagship retail space opportunity along the exciting Broadway retail corridor. Built in 1927, the 600-seat theater was originally called Bard’s Eighth Street Theatre but was renamed Olympic Theatre in 1932 to commemorate the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Today, the space is once again ready to shine as Downtown LA continues to attract national and international retailers at an unprecedented rate. This retail space is ideal for a retailer with a unique identity and brand.
Full details below ↓
This just in: Burlington Coat Factory (referred to as simply “Burlington” on their website) has leased the underground space now occupied by Big Lots located at 7th/Broadway. [Update 2/13/2014: Burlington has apparently leased the ground floor retail space as well above Big Lots totaling approximately 40,000 square feet.] The space is located under the Saint Vincent Jewelry Center, which was once the original Bullock’s flagship department store built in 1906. Apparently, Burlington will also take a smaller portion of the space above Big Lots on the street level for a total of 18,000 square feet. It is still unclear when Big Lots would vacate and when Burlington plans to open.
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).
Finally! Can you believe it’s been almost three years since we reported that Walgreens was coming to 5th and Broadway in Downtown LA? This will be the second Walgreens to open downtown (the other one is at 7th/Hope in the Financial District). Signs posted on the windows went up this week announcing for the community to join the grand opening on Jan 31, 2014 at 10 am. Workers were seen this past Wednesday adding the finishing touches with fresh paint to Walgreens’ ornate facade, such as the beautiful wrought iron detailing above the windows as part of the historic 1926 Chester Williams Building — now also home to 88 luxury apartment units.
The $40 million makeover of FIGat7th is now almost fully leased out to a slew of exciting new retailers. MAC Cosmetics has just signed a lease to join the FIGat7th roster, which includes future LA flagship stores Zara and H&M. The international cosmetics brand will open a 1,500 square foot store sandwiched in between two other new retailers, L’Occitane and Sunglass Hut, coming to the rejuvenated shopping center all by this spring. MAC will open in March on the City Target level, which is now fully leased out to brands like Victoria’s Secret, PINK, Bath & Body Works, and Sprinkles Cupcakes.