Several months behind schedule, the roof is finally coming off at The Bloc in Downtown LA. What was scheduled to happen sometime in late February, the expansive atrium roof made of metal and glass that covered the front entrance to the former Macy’s Plaza started dismantling work in late May. However, it wasn’t until early last week that construction workers really started to tear off the roof piece by piece exposing a skeletal frame structure that now reveals the sky above. Standing next to the front entrance, even with all the messy construction going on, one can really get an exciting glimpse into what this place will be like once it completes its transformation into an outdoor shopping center filled with urban life and activity.
Category Archives: retail
Bunker Hill is finally starting to feel more coherent now with the completion of The Broad museum (opening Sept 20th) and the Emerson luxury apartments that filled in two major empty deadzones on Grand Ave. Fortunately, more much-needed upgrades are coming to Bunker Hill that will help make the district more inviting, less fortressy. One California Plaza owned by Beacon Capital Partners — a 42-story office tower designed by renowned Canadian architect Arthur Erickson — is well in the process of remodeling its retail corridor, which sits underneath the main pedestrian walkway that connects the entire California Plaza, which includes the taller 52-story Two California Plaza owned by CIM Group, to MOCA and the Colburn School next door.
The popular national workout chain Bar Method is coming to Downtown LA’s Historic Core. According to listing agents Lee Shapiro and Justin Weiss of Kennedy Wilson, Bar Method will be opening an approximately 3,000 square foot studio on the second floor of the Corporation Building located on Spring Street mid-block between 7th and 8th Street. The 13-story Corporation Building built in 1915 was purchased in 2013 by local downtown developer Izek Shomof who renovated and repositioned the historic structure geared toward creative tenants.
The intersection of 9th/Broadway continues to push forward as one of the main epicenters of new retailers making a comeback in Downtown LA. This past Saturday, the high-end fashion French label A.P.C. (standing for “Atelier de Production et de Création”) finally opened its doors for business here helping to boost the intersection’s critical mass as it begins to take more concrete shape as a bona fide shopping destination. DTLA Rising first announced the rumors that A.P.C. was coming to Downtown LA a year and a half ago back in December of 2013. Replacing what used to be a nondescript art gallery (called Vista Art Galleria), the once forgettable space facing 9th Street has been transformed into a chic and modern fashion showroom and a head turner with a strong street presence.
After years of delays and construction, it’s so good to see One Santa Fe filling up not only the 438 apartments upstairs with new residents but also the retail spaces downstairs on the ground level. The quarter-mile long Michael Maltzan-designed project sitting along the train tracks by the LA River on the eastern edge of Downtown LA’s Arts District is finally opening its first new businesses providing a glimpse into the exciting new shops and restaurants (a total of 25 stores) coming to this massive mixed-use project. In late March, the very first new business to open was popular vegan eatery Cafe Gratitude (you can read our review here). And now, upscale men’s boutique Wittmore soft opened just last Friday becoming One Santa Fe’s first new fashion retailer to open.
When it comes to gyms, the Financial District in Downtown LA is definitely the center of it all. If you appreciate options on where to work out, then you’re in luck. You have all the major chains like Equinox, Gold’s, 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness, and private unique clubs like LA Athletic Club and the Jonathan Club. Now, add another one to the mix, this time a completely independent brand called City Athletix that strives to be the next best gym in Downtown LA that offers an upscale experience at an affordable price.
As we wait eagerly for high-end French label A.P.C. to open (hopefully) later this month near 9th and Broadway, we have yet another fashion forward brand from Australia that will be making this hot intersection into their new US flagship debut that is sure to make a lot of women very happy. First reported on Apparel News, the fast-fashion Aussie brand BNKR (pronounced “bunker”) will be opening their very first brick and mortar store outside of their only other store in Adelaide, Australia here in Downtown LA at the historic 1916 Blackstone building, which was a former department store converted to 82 lofts in 2010.
Billed as the biggest construction project in USC’s history, the $650 million USC Village project broke ground last September and is now actively under construction on the north end of campus just a little over a mile south of Downtown LA. The 1.25 million square foot mixed-use development — including dorms for up to 2,700 students and lots of planned retail options — replaces University Village, which was a nondescript and dated retail complex built in the 1960s. Last year, the exciting announcement came that Trader Joe’s would be opening a 12,700 square foot market inside this new project, which will not only serve USC students but the larger neighborhood as well. Now, a reliable source tells us that City Target has signed a lease taking up the majority of retail space inside USC Village.
Circle Ks have become recognized as one of the main convenience stores tied closely with gas stations across the country. It’s the place you buy a snack or drink or play your hand at a lottery ticket before hopping back in your car. But now you can do that without driving as Circle K has opened up its very first urban stand-alone store near 7th and Broadway around the corner from the famous Clifton’s Cafeteria, which recently relit its new neon signs. The first Circle K stand-alone store in a suburban setting opened just a few months ago outside Chicago. The new stand-alone stores seem to be Circle K’s strategic plan to infiltrate into rival 7-Eleven’s convenience store territory.
Most people nowadays search online when they are planning to book a trip somewhere through portals like Expedia or Travelocity. But Liberty Travel is betting that more people are yearning for personal face-to-face contact with a good ol’ fashion travel agent who can answer your questions right then-and-there and also still be able to look in their own database of hotels and airlines for special “off market” deals you might not find online on your own. And for those future travelers to faraway exotic lands, that in-person experience will be a lot more fun and interactive here in Downtown LA with the opening of a new Liberty Travel flagship store — called a “hyper store” — near 6th and Figueroa in the Financial District.
With over 250 locations in the US, you’ve probably heard of Pure Barre before (there are 17 locations in the LA metro). For those who haven’t, it’s a fitness studio offering daily classes that’s meant to whip you into tiptop shape using a mix of exercise techniques inspired by pilates, yoga, and dance. A brand new Pure Barre just opened last month in Downtown LA on Olive Street near 8th and it’s another strong sign that downtown is maturing into an actual livable community filling up with a diverse range of services and amenities for its growing population.
In the increasingly crowded landscape of Downtown LA’s development boom, Fig Central across from Staples Center, having recently broken ground, will still stand out as one of the hugest game changing projects to date in Downtown LA. When completed several years from now, this truly massive $1 billion project on 4.6 acres of land will catapult South Park to a whole new level of urbanization. Three skyline-redefining towers designed by RTKL (shown in these new renderings released) will rise as part of the project — one 49-story tower and two 40-story twin towers — adding 504 new luxury for sale units to downtown’s condo-starved housing stock.
Just over two years ago, one of the largest residential mixed-use projects in Downtown LA broke ground at 8th and Grand in the Financial District adjacent to Bottega Louie. Now aptly named Eighth & Grand (instead of “G8″), the seven story, 700-unit development by San Francisco-based Carmel Partners is close to finishing their first phase out of potentially three, which will allow new residents to move in as soon as this summer with the project fully completed by early next year. The project has gone up relatively fast for such a large building by implementing the proprietary Conxtech construction technique using a steel frame “chassis based modular building system.” Due to the increased strength of a steel framed structure, the facade is able to incorporate more glass windows as well as a 40-foot rooftop pool.
Last week, DTLA Rising revealed that the recently restored Rosslyn Hotel would be getting a new indie grocery store in a neighborhood still lacking in residential amenities. According to the building’s owner, SRO Housing Corporation, the new market will strive to be like a “mini Ralphs” where residents nearby in the Historic Core could get many of their grocery needs met, helping to make life more convenient. Now, more details have emerged including the grocery store’s name, which will be called “Village Market.” To be quite honest, I have a feeling the 3,200 square foot grocery store will be more similar to the 3,000 square foot Fresh & Easy Express concept (there’s one by USC) than a Ralphs. In any case, Village Market will include meats, produce, and other sundries that will cater to an established residential population.
Last year in March, we revealed some exciting plans about a parking structure at 11th and Hope that was getting the “mixed-use treatment.” The owner of the 7-story parking structure, Downtown LA-based PSP Investment Group, decided to do something pretty revolutionary for car-obsessed Los Angeles. PSP retrofitted the parking structure by replacing the first parking level facing Hope Street with new retail space totaling about 11,000 square feet. Basically, the very urban-conscious PSP went against the grain by taking away space reserved for cars and giving it back to people. A smart move given that the new retail space will eventually generate more pedestrian activity, adding a new spark of life to an otherwise very dead block.