Originally Posted by RAlossi
DTLA did pretty well last round of development. Of course, we were 3-4 years late, which ended up hampering development and slowing the momentum of the neighborhood.
Last cycle, the population of the neighborhood went from under 10,000 to nearly 43,000 (45,000+ once the recently opened buildings fill up). Most of the "adaptively reusable" buildings in the Core were rehabbed. Large cultural projects were underway or completed, including the Disney Hall and the Colburn addition. LA Live. Improved transit. Top-level restaurants.
Even with the effects of the recession, the number one thing I'm hearing residents say now is... where the **** is the retail?? I feel like we're on the verge of the next phase of the development wave, which is taking the ground-floor retail environment to the next level. This is being led by Target.
I just fear there's not going to be a cohesive plan for where to put it. All I can say is, Broadway, Broadway, Broadway. That's the last big chunk of the puzzle missing before I'd be completely satisfied with the progress of the past ten years. I think once 5th/Broadway becomes a residential square over the next year (Jewelry Trades, Metropolitan, SB loft building and now the Chester Williams Bldg), that will send a big message to the other Broadway building owners. 9th and Broadway is already transforming and looks completely different with the Blackstone; as well as a mishmash of buildings up and down the street, either residential (like the Judson, Broadway/Spring Arcade) or the improvements/renovation to Clifton's.
Anyway, that's just my assessment as a resident.
Yes, I do think that Target and whatever retailers Brookfield is able to attract to the new 7+FIG shopping center will help toward that goal of making DTLA a shopping destination competitive with other regional powerhouses like Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Pasadena, and West Hollywood.
I see fashion forward names wanting to come into the mix in the future such as James Perse, APC, Marc Jacobs, Fred Segal, Kitson, etc.
I was talking to a sales associate at Fred Segal just this past weekend and I asked him what he thought about if Fred Segal had a FLAGSHIP store in DTLA, like where the Jewelry District is, and he thought it was a wonderful idea! We both agreed that the architecture of the historic buildings would give Fred Segal another level of class that elevates it to a higher standing.
Funny enough, I have the direct experience with working at the DCBID back in 2005 where I did the same thing (asking people to move their businesses downtown), and I would get the most confused looks, like, "Why would we open up downtown?" That was really only 5 years ago. Boy how things have changed in SUCH a short time! Imagine what another 5 years will bring when there is incredible rail connections to DTLA from the Westside???
I think it's really only a matter of time before parts of DTLA will start to resemble SoHo NY as it pertains to shopping options. And I guarantee you, the masses will be very happy and LA's image to the world will change dramatically.