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.
Category Archives: retail
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.
Speaking of new markets coming to Downtown LA (like the exciting news from last week regarding a giant Whole Foods opening in November of this year), another smaller local indie market is slated for the newly remodeled Rosslyn Hotel at 5th and Main in Downtown LA’s Historic Core. The still-unnamed market will be going into a 3,200 square foot corner space that used to be Bert Green Fine Art who is credited for founding in 2004 the popular DTLA monthly Art Walk. According to the building owner SRO Housing Corporation — which just recently completed a full restoration of the 13-story beaux arts historic gem — the new market will strive to be like a “mini Ralphs,” or basically a neighborhood grocery store carrying pretty much a little bit of everything you would need like cereal, fresh produce, and even meats.
Earlier today, a press conference announcing the opening date for Whole Foods was held across the street, catercorner from the future grocery store site at 8th and Grand in Downtown LA. The event was put on by Councilman Huizar and reps from Whole Foods who confirmed the current targeted opening date of Nov 4, 2015, which will be a Wednesday. The new 41,000 square foot grocery store will include a restaurant and bar, a coffee bar, and outdoor patio seating that will wrap around the entire corner of 8th and Grand. The front entrance will be located toward the middle of the block on the Grand Ave side just a bit south from Bottega Louie. In addition, the store sits underneath 700 luxury rental units under construction called Eighth & Grand, which will also be opening in several phases over the next year. The developer of this project is Carmel Partners of San Francisco.
With so many new developments under construction in the Arts District, Downtown LA’s industrial chic community is about to get even hotter in the next few years. Adding to the fire is a new exciting retail project aptly named AT MATEO that just broke ground in mid-January last month. So aptly named because you can bet a lot of Angelenos will be “at Mateo” when this thing is finished in about two years. Purchased last summer for $32.5 million by a joint venture between ASB Real Estate Investments and local real estate firm Blatteis & Schnur, five large warehouses occupying a huge block bounded by Mateo and Palmetto will be converted into an open-air 130,000 square foot retail hub consisting of a major retail anchor, grocery store (I’ve heard they are courting the ever elusive Trader Joe’s), and numerous restaurants and retail shops. In addition, a 400-space parking structure will be incorporated into this $30 million redevelopment project.
Okay, this is incredible! For those of us who have wanted Broadway to return to its old former glory as LA’s main high street, there are some very interesting rumors that Gucci — yes the designer label found in the most tony addresses in the world — has been exploring Broadway for a new store location. Without outing anyone in particular, a source has come forward claiming that reps for Gucci have made an offer to take over an existing business but was turned away by the store owner. Amazingly, after this source told me, I have heard Gucci’s name pop up several times from different disparate sources, which means something could definitely be brewing on the down low.
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!
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!