Yo Tumblrs,
Been MIA, working on the Downtown News site, which you should make a regular read if you’re into the politics, business, culture and general news about Downtown L.A. Check the What to Do section for the most thorough culture guide for #dtla.
But I’m back. Alert your followers.
And, I’ve officially joined Downtown’s least-secret social club: I got a dog. 

Yo Tumblrs,

Been MIA, working on the Downtown News site, which you should make a regular read if you’re into the politics, business, culture and general news about Downtown L.A. Check the What to Do section for the most thorough culture guide for #dtla.

But I’m back. Alert your followers.

And, I’ve officially joined Downtown’s least-secret social club: I got a dog


via gordonncrisp:

i love los angeles venues 
THE SMELL

via gordonncrisp:

i love los angeles venues 

THE SMELL

(Source: prospecthummerr)

Is Downtown ready for retail? That’s an underlying question in my piece in the Downtown News this week about a new concept for the mixed use project Metropolis. Metropolis, which would occupy a 6.5-acre parking lot next to the 110 Freeway (and bound otherwise by Eighth, Ninth and Francisco streets) has been trying to get off the ground for two decades-plus. Now, the developers think they’ve got a shot to build it by stuffing it with 300,000 square feet of retail. That’s almost the size of Brookfield Properties’ nearby “Fig at 7th” shopping center, which is in the throes of a $40 million renovation, a welcome mat of sorts for Target opening in fall 2012. Metropolis officials consider Target to be a “shadow anchor” for their still very theoretical project (there’s no timeline), and they have space for another big box chain, or two. But the focus would be on small boutiques/unique retailers a la Abbot Kinney. 

The logic, which is shared by the DCBID’s retail recruitment team, is simple: Downtown will struggle to become a retail destination if it’s competing against the city’s many shopping hubs, where big brands are ubiquitous. Westside residents won’t drive Downtown for Bed Bath & Beyond, but they might make a trip to visit a handful of unique shops they can’t find elsewhere. While independent stores now pepper Main and Spring streets in the Historic Core — from veterans like clothier Stella Dottir and Metropolis Books, to newer ventures such as Buzz wine shop and the furniture store I-Squared — the trend has largely evaded wider Downtown.

Mark Tarczynski, a veteran Downtown broker with Colliers, said retail will come - and that it’s already happening. Target, he is convinced, is only coming because Ralphs does brisk business at Ninth and Flower. If Ralphs brought Target, and let’s say another big boxer follows Target, will those unique single proprietors follow suit? It’s usually the other way around. Only time will tell.

Is Downtown ready for retail? That’s an underlying question in my piece in the Downtown News this week about a new concept for the mixed use project Metropolis. Metropolis, which would occupy a 6.5-acre parking lot next to the 110 Freeway (and bound otherwise by Eighth, Ninth and Francisco streets) has been trying to get off the ground for two decades-plus. Now, the developers think they’ve got a shot to build it by stuffing it with 300,000 square feet of retail. That’s almost the size of Brookfield Properties’ nearby “Fig at 7th” shopping center, which is in the throes of a $40 million renovation, a welcome mat of sorts for Target opening in fall 2012. Metropolis officials consider Target to be a “shadow anchor” for their still very theoretical project (there’s no timeline), and they have space for another big box chain, or two. But the focus would be on small boutiques/unique retailers a la Abbot Kinney. 

The logic, which is shared by the DCBID’s retail recruitment team, is simple: Downtown will struggle to become a retail destination if it’s competing against the city’s many shopping hubs, where big brands are ubiquitous. Westside residents won’t drive Downtown for Bed Bath & Beyond, but they might make a trip to visit a handful of unique shops they can’t find elsewhere. While independent stores now pepper Main and Spring streets in the Historic Core — from veterans like clothier Stella Dottir and Metropolis Books, to newer ventures such as Buzz wine shop and the furniture store I-Squared — the trend has largely evaded wider Downtown.

Mark Tarczynski, a veteran Downtown broker with Colliers, said retail will come - and that it’s already happening. Target, he is convinced, is only coming because Ralphs does brisk business at Ninth and Flower. If Ralphs brought Target, and let’s say another big boxer follows Target, will those unique single proprietors follow suit? It’s usually the other way around. Only time will tell.

maxtroyla:

Totes ma Goats! Angels Knoll!

maxtroyla:

Totes ma Goats! Angels Knoll!

(via maxtroyla-deactivated20131120)

via jmchung:

Fact: Existing rooftop signs in Los Angeles are registered “historical landmarks”. You probably won’t see a rooftop sign in this city that was built after 1973 because of some strict (and slightly ridiculous) signage regulations.
Meanwhile, I saw about three digital billboards on my way to a meeting.

via jmchung:

Fact: Existing rooftop signs in Los Angeles are registered “historical landmarks”. You probably won’t see a rooftop sign in this city that was built after 1973 because of some strict (and slightly ridiculous) signage regulations.

Meanwhile, I saw about three digital billboards on my way to a meeting.

Time on ‘Manhattanization’ of Downtown



Time Magazine is the latest national or east coast publication to learn that Downtown LA is no longer “dead after working hours.” The venerable Time, in its assessment of Downtown’s growth in the past 10 years, credits Staples Center and L.A. Live for the shift. Their evidence? This quote from AEG spokesman Michael Roth, who gets paid to tout L.A. Live and Staples Center: “Before Staples ‘nobody came downtown,’” Roth tells Time.

That’s generally accurate, but I don’t think Staples was nearly as transformative as the redevelopment of the Old Bank District and the adaptive reuse housing boom that grew the Downtown residential population from about 15,000 to 50,000 in 10 years. The Time article hinges on the question of whether Downtown is on the road to “Manhattanization.” If “Manhattanization” means a more dense, populous and active urban center, the answer is clearly, yes (I just wouldn’t use that term). And while L.A. Live and Staples were game changers that remain instrumental to the area’s regional draw, housing started Downtown’s renewal, and housing will be the lifeblood of continued growth.

Perhaps more than the skyscrapers and its envy-inspiring subway system, what makes Manhattan so distinctly urban is that its streets never sleep. If Downtown sidewalks ever get to the point of being dense with pedestrians at 3 a.m. (or even at 9 a.m. on a Sunday) the people on the street won’t be L.A. Live visitors. They’ll be residents.    

I'm Ryan Vaillancourt. I'm a reporter for the Los Angeles Downtown News. This is the flotsam and jetsam of a city rediscovering itself. Drop me a note at ryan@downtownnews.com.