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.
Since the sparkling new $40 million FIGat7th makeover opened last October 2012 with the grand opening of City Target, many Downtown LA residents and office workers have been waiting eagerly (and impatiently) for FIGat7th to finally finish leasing out the entire shopping complex. Over the last year, FIGat7th has added some serious muscle when it comes to its tenant mix. In addition to City Target and Sport Chalet opening and the announcement of Zara and H&M coming next spring, a solid lineup of exciting eatery concepts within the TASTE food court have also made FIGat7th into a downtown dining destination, especially during the lunch rush and now even into the afternoon. Once all the eateries are open, creating synergy between each other, there should be a stronger dinner crowd as well.
So what’s next?
I grabbed lunch today at the new Juicy Lucy gourmet burger spot located inside the still brand new upscale food court at FIGat7th called TASTE. I could not believe how busy the lunch crowd was here around 1PM. Mind you, there are only 5 eateries that have opened up so far — George’s Greek Grill, The Melt, Juicy Lucy, Indus, and Oleego — and there are already this many people coming to eat here for lunch? That shows you the amount of demand in the area and why I want more companies to move back into Downtown LA to boost our local economy. I can only imagine what the place will be like once all the other planned restaurants open, which include for now, Mendocino Farms, Flying Pig, The Pizza Studio, and Sprinkles Cupcakes with more restaurants to be announced soon in the next few months. That synergy will likely translate into a much stronger dinner crowd as well, especially when the other planned retailers open.
Over the last several weeks, a variety of new and exciting eateries have opened up at FIGat7th in the upscale food court concept called Taste, which is located on the lower level of the newly revamped outdoor shopping center. Late last year, George’s Greek Grill along with The Melt (from SF) were the first two to open, and now, LA-based chef Paul Shoemaker has officially launched Juicy Lucy (focusing on gourmet burgers), while Indus (a new Indian concept from Saffron) and Oleego by Parks (Korean) Barbecue are also now open.
With only a few more months of construction left before the newly remodeled FIGat7th opens, Mendocino Farms joins an exciting list of new restaurants set to open in the dining court (aptly named “Taste”) that will be located on the lowest level in the newly updated shopping center.
One of the most anticipated developments in Downtown LA this year has been the renovations going on at FIGat7th in the Financial District. Remaking a tired old mall into an exciting new destination. All those who live, work, and/or play in Downtown LA have been waiting eagerly to find out what new businesses are coming into this new shopping center that will be anchored by a City Target. Today, there is definitely some exciting news as six new gourmet restaurant concepts have been announced and here they are:
The active construction going on at FIGat7th–currently undergoing a $41 million remodeling job–continues to chug along toward an expected fall 2012 grand opening as new escalators were installed over the past weekend on Saturday morning (2/11/12). A crane was brought in to hoist the new escalators into place creating a new pedestrian-oriented entrance along Figueroa St. The placement of the escalators along the sidewalk allows pedestrians to access the newly remodeled FIGat7th with ease instead of the former placement of escalators tucked away, hidden in the back of the complex.
A large mixed-use project near LA Live that has been in the works for over two decades may finally come to fruition in Downtown LA, which would be a tremendous boost to the growing prominence of LA’s urban renaissance. According to IDS Real Estate Group, the developer and land owner of the development site, Metropolis is expected to break ground in 2012 with a completion in 2014.