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Downtown LA Shows No Signs of Slowing Down. Here's Why.

With billions of dollars worth of multifamily, retail and office development in the pipeline, Downtown LA is continuing its evolution into a 24-hour environment. That's why we're thrilled to host the major players behind this ongoing transformation at Bisnow's 5th Annual Evolution of Downtown on July 21 at 1418 N Spring St, where City Constructors is in the process of developing a mixed-use creative office space.

Among our all-star panelists will be The Ratkovich Co COO Clare De Briere (snapped during a light-hearted moment at our Hotel summit in November), who, along with partners National Real Estate Advisors and Blue Vista Capital, is remaking the old Macy's Plaza into an open-air destination dubbed The BLOC. The ownership has announced a slew of new office, retail and restaurant tenants for the $180M development. They'll include the first West Coast outpost of Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse out of Boston, and TLT Food, a food truck turned fast-casual eatery, providing plenty of dining spots for the tenants in the project's fully renovated, 700k SF office tower. The BLOC also will boast a four-star Sheraton hotel and an updated Macy's department store, as well as a pedestrian passageway to the Seventh Street/Metro Center Station.

Earlier this year, one of the most transformative events of the redevelopment occurred when the developers began razing the roof of the formerly enclosed, fortress-like mall.

Another panelist will be Carol Schatz (snapped with CBRE's Lew Horne at the launch of Metropolis last year), president and CEO of the Central City Association and the Downtown Center BID. Carol runs two nonprofit organizations that are among the architects of the DTLA renaissance. In particular, the CCA, a business advocacy group, was responsible for arguably the single most important catalyst for Downtown's revitalization: the 1999 passage of the adaptive reuse ordinance. By making it easier for developers to convert old office buildings into housing, she says, the landmark ordinance started the housing boom downtown.

The DCBID, composed of property owners in a 65-block area, markets Downtown to consumers and investors, and also is heavily concerned with quality-of-life issues. (Think trash pick-up and, given the number of Downtown's dog-owning residents, fostering a canine-friendly atmosphere.) This month marks Carol's 25th anniversary at the CCA's helm, and when she took over as the first woman president, she told members they would bring Downtown LA back one street at a time. Born and raised in LA, Carol had a strong interest in seeing DTLA thrive. 

Another panelist will be Trammell Crow SVP Jim Andersen, who's developing LA Plaza Cultural Village. Slated to begin construction in Q4, the $140M mixed-use project will consist of 355 units—20% of them affordable—plus 45k SF of ground-floor retail and restaurant space. The complex will link the Civic Center, Chinatown and Union Station, acting as a gateway between those districts. He says the project will create a sense of place—a major portion is dedicated to a paseo that will start at Union Station, wind through Olvera Street past the LA Plaza museum, and terminate at the Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial at the top of Hill Street.

LA Plaza Cultural Village will be built on two parcels of county-owned land subleased from LA Plaza De Cultura y Artes, and will help fund the not-for-profit, Smithsonian-affiliated museum's operations. To hear more from Jim and our other panelists, join us for the Evolution of Downtown, Tuesday, July 21, at 4181 N Spring St, starting at 8am. Sign up here.