By Jae Yoo, Executive Director, Cushman & Wakefield
Activity continues to mount south of 7th Street to Freeway 10. Unlike the northern part of LA’s Arts District, the area has retained the industrial character that attracts those seeking gritty, vintage authenticity.
The area’s appeal has led to the recasting of the real estate players, from private, local investors to an array of developers with institutional funding, both domestic and international. They too have watched the growing shift in occupants from garment manufacturers, produce distributors, and wholesalers to trendy retailers, award-winning chefs, and media giants.
The hum of interest, particularly from buzz-worthy names, is building.
Ford Motor will soon be occupied by Warner Music’s new headquarters, bringing both significant investment and foot traffic to the district. The ever-chic London club Soho House, slated to open in 2018 at 1000 S. Santa Fe Ave., will draw crowds from all over LA, as Bestia has been doing for the last several years. Hyperloop is expanding its campus. And J-Crew and Smashbox are establishing themselves in the area.
Although most people refer to south of 7th Street to Freeway 10 as the Arts District already, it is a unique extension of the district.
Historically, the Arts District was occupied by various industrial users – mostly manufacturers and distributors who warehoused everything from food to toys. Over time, the multi-story industrial buildings were deemed antiquated and functionally obsolete, and many of the spaces organically transitioned to lofts and studios for artists and craftspeople.
The South of the Arts District still has a solid base of industrial users and has yet to be transformed into a pedestrian friendly, retail-heavy area like 3rd and Traction. But this is changing and presents enormous potential for investors.
The opportunity and interest are there for continued transformation and adaptive reuse projects.
Restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues are already sprouting throughout the neighborhood: Nancy Silverton is opening a gelateria; Rolling Greens is opening its DTLA location soon; and Everson Royce Bar (E.R.B.) by James Beard Award-winning chef Matt Molina is thriving. And, in its short tenure, the Museum of Ice Cream will have enticed a record-breaking number of people to its gallery. The bustle of these additions is drawing even more retailers, cafes, restaurants, creative office tenants, and students to the area.
Cushman & Wakefield is currently handling about 10 properties in this pocket (N: 7th St; S: 10 FWY; E: River; W: Wilson/Lawrence) and has also sold and leased several properties in this area in the past, including Ford Factory, Hyperloop Campus, Art House, Violet, etc., working with various groups.
The Arts District is headed towards a total metamorphosis as major developments are in the pipeline in addition to those already in progress. Although the landscape of the Arts District is bound to change dramatically, the intent of the developers and the local community is to keep the integrity, character, culture, and aesthetics intact for the most unique district of Los Angeles.
The Arts District: http://www.artsdistrictla.org/bid-map/
I also talked more about the Arts District with the Los Angeles Business Journal (LABJ) in a recent story written by Neil Nisperos, which LABJ subscribers can fully access here: Arts District’s Growth Prospects May Lead South
Based in Cushman & Wakefield’s downtown Los Angeles office, Jae Yoo is a member of a three-person brokerage team that also includes colleagues Brandon Gill and Brandon Burns.