LOS ANGELES — The momentum continues in downtown Los Angeles’ revitalization with one of the more ambitious projects to wend its way through the pipeline.
New York real estate investment firms Atlas Capital Group and Square Mile Capital Management in 2014 closed on the purchase of the downtown real estate portfolio Alameda Square for a reported $357 million from EVOQ Properties. What it intends to do with the site is becoming more clear.
Nine buildings, totaling nearly 2 million square feet, comprise the Row DTLA project. That site is also home to the headquarters and factory of American Apparel, along with Splendid and Ella Moss.
“The amount of land that it’s on is bigger than all of the Meatpacking District in New York City,” Runyon Group principal David Fishbein told WWD late last year. “So we literally have an entire neighborhood filled with old, iconic buildings and because of the fact that it was originally the Southern Pacific Railroad headquarters, you had the long trains coming in down the streets so it created this historic street grid. It looks like SoHo in the 1980s. It’s incredible.”
Runyon Group was enlisted to handle the retail leasing for the project, most likely in hopes of bringing its founders’ sensibilities to the neighborhood.
The full-service real estate firm has not only served as broker to the likes of Planet Blue, Reformation and Rag & Bone, but is also known for its work in breathing new life into tired areas. A case in point is its work on Fillmore Street in San Francisco along with its current Platform project in Culver City, Calif. that’s brought in Josh Peskowitz for a men’s concept called Magasin, while Curve founder Nevena Borissova is partnering with Tom Dixon on a store there.
Marketing materials for the Row promise 100 stores, 15 restaurants and 1.3 million square feet of creative office space. A call to Atlas Capital’s Los Angeles office was referred to a spokesperson for Runyon Group who said tenants are not being disclosed. Project marketing materials feature images that could just as easily fit into ads for a fashion-forward contemporary brand or magazine.
Downtown’s redevelopment has been slow — about two decades in the making — but efforts have gained steam in more recent years, first with the conversion of offices to residential, then the influx of bars and now retail in the way of Acne, A.P.C. and the Ace Hotel, with a Soho House on the way.
“[The Row’s] really exciting in that it’s not just a project in downtown,” said Joseph Miller, who founded Runyon Group with Fishbein. “It’s a series of buildings in a neighborhood that could really define downtown just given the scale.