Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Downtown Properties Undergoing Revitalization

8/29/14 - Over the last several years, many of downtown Los Angeles' old buildings have been revitalized by investors looking to breathe some life back into the surrounding community, to produce better job opportunities as well as new shops, apartments, and restaurants. One of the largest of such projects to be undertaken involves the former May Co. department store on Broadway, more well known as the “Broadway Trade Center.” A recent article by Roger Vincent of the L.A. Times discusses the implications that this renovation may have on continued development of the downtown area.

Seemingly following the same approach used on New York's Chelsea Market, these investors are looking to bring the old, run-down building back to its former glory. The renovation of such a large building could provide space for new apartments, office buildings, shops, and markets, all of which could be put to good use in the populous downtown area.

With over 1 million square feet of space to fill, Waterbridge Capital and real estate developer Jack Jangana, who acquired the six-story building for about $130 million, are looking for tenants in the realm of technology. While they may also want to devote the first few floors to retail uses, such as restaurants and stores, the rental of upstairs space to a major technology company could draw in “creative” jobs historically present mainly in the Santa Monica and Hollywood areas.

Such introduction of creative and technology-based companies could lead to the addition of new, well-paying jobs to an area currently being filled with new homes and restaurants. According to Vincent, even the addition of technology companies to the Broadway Trade Center may not be enough to fill its enormous potential. Such other possibilities include a grocery store, roof garden, or post office, among a plethora of other ways to fill retail space in the massive building. While it may take as long as 24 months for planned renovations to be completed, this project by New York investors holds great potential to benefit downtown Los Angeles and the surrounding community.

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