Summing Up Retail In DTLA
With the plethora of cranes and construction going on in DTLA these days, the question that remains is whether what's being built addresses the needs of those who live, work and play there.
As a result of DTLA's past—people not frequenting it after work hours—neighborhood expert and DTLA Rising blogger Brigham Yen, who lives in downtown LA, said he thinks the pendulum has swung too far the other way with everything being “super upscale" because people are "afraid of what the past used to be."
Allen Matkins partner Tim McGinity moderated the panel discussing downtown retail and restaurants.
Brigham said he would like to see a balance of restaurant chains with chef-driven restaurants in DTLA. He said he has to leave downtown LA to eat at a chain restaurant and run other necessary errands.
Blatteis & Schnur managing director Samuel Brownell said some chains, citing the Cheesecake Factory as an example, face particular challenges when weighing a move to downtown LA. Density and the customer base have to be considered, he said.
He described the LA-based Cheesecake Factory, which has no downtown location, as "the most successful chain in the US" headquartered here in LA.
Linear City Development partner Yuval Bar-Zemer spoke of the successful coffee roasters in the Arts District.
The retail should serve the needs of the community, including its residents, according to Hazens Group executive project director Sonnet Hui.
She said the Hazens Group is actively looking at what is missing in South Park and how to best add to the community.