DOWNTOWN BOOM (Part 2)
We resume our tour with LA Downtown News’ Jon Regardie, who (at our coaxing) agreed to give us the heat ranking on submarkets. Of course, it’s always changing, but here's a snapshot. (Here’s the first issue, if you missed it.)
#2: North end of South Park
San Francisco’s Carmel Partners is creating 700 apartments at Eighth and Grand due Q3 ’15 and (signifying neighborhood validation!) a Whole Foods.
#3: Grand Avenue
Everyone knows the Broad Museum is making big progress next to Disney Hall. But the really big thing is across the street and to the left.
Namely, Related’s Frank Gehry-designed, $2B project that was diverted, then revived, late last year. It doesn't look like much to our camera, but post-recession it's been downsized to a $650M project with two towers: one with 400 plus apartments and the other a 300 room SLS and some condos, as well as a stacked mix of shops and restaurants. No wonder it’s called “The Grand.” But it won’t start start construction until late next year.
Blossom Plaza will be Forest City’s $100M, five-story apartment building with 250 units adjoining a 17k SF public plaza connecting to the Metro Gold Line.
#5: Little Tokyo
Avalon Bay is developing the Ava (a brand it has in other cities as well, and presumably a play on its name) at Second and LA streets. It’ll include 13k of retail space and 100 apartments in its first phase and open in late summer, followed by another 176 units and some townhouses. With (of course) a two-level fitness center and sixth floor deck.
#6 Historic Core
The Ace Hotel has not only arrived, but in the view of some urban sophisticates indicates that Downtown LA has itself arrived. Although the Ace started out (and still exists) as an unassuming small fry in Seattle, when it got to NYC three years ago, it created a sensation and almost single-handedly caused a boom in development and popularity in the neighborhood around Madison Square Park. Such that “getting an Ace” is now considered the height of hipness.
LA, let alone the world, doesn’t quite seem to yet appreciate the full scale of Korean Air’s replacement of the old Wilshire Grand. It is a $1B development and just last month received 82 million pounds of concrete, which constitutes the world’s largest-ever continuous concrete pour, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. It is scheduled by the end of ’16 to become, at 900 hotel rooms and 400k SF of office space, the tallest building west of the Mississippi.
#8: Odds and ends
It’s amazing how many “brick and timber” buildings just seem to be lying around, waiting for renovation. In S.F.’s SoMa district, for comparison, this cute little item might fetch, oh, a hundred million bucks.
One Wilshire still stands as a major telecom hub—selling last summer for a record $437M.
Star Apartments in Skid Row is pretty cool looking affordable housing. It includes a basketball court, running track, and social service offices.
Lucky Brand's HQ ought to be in the movies.
No wonder Factory Kitchen owner Matteo Ferdinandi, who used to run the high-grossing Spago in Vegas, was lured to the Arts District when it came time to create his own restaurant. We looked up from our delicious pasta only long enough to snap the picture, then returned to our own culinary business.