The Bloc just got a whole lot haute-r.
HauteLook, the flash deals site Nordstrom Inc. bought in 2011, along with nordstromrack.com will relocate headquarters to the downtown Los Angeles mixed-use project along with a number of other new office and restaurant tenants.
Los Angeles developer The Ratkovich Company is infusing about $180 million worth of improvements to the 1.8 million-square-foot project. The developer’s aim is to transform the dated Macy’s Plaza indoor mall into an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, office tenants and a hotel. The 250,000-square-foot Macy’s is itself being turned into one of the chain’s flagship locations with an expanded lineup of cosmetics, housewares and textiles.
HauteLook and nordstromrack.com will take up about 44,000 square feet in the development’s office tower.
“Right now it’s an exciting time for the business,” said HauteLook and nordstromrack.com president Terry Boyle.
The two businesses saw net sales increase 51 percent for the quarter ended May 2, partially driven by an increase in merchandise. Nordstromrack.com launched with 20,000 items and now there’s more than 50,000.
“Nordstromrack.com is really going to be our choice [growth] engine,” Boyle said.
Meanwhile, HauteLook’s product offerings will become tighter, with Boyle adding, “You can’t keep growing a flash sales company by throwing more and more at the customer.”
The company has a sizable presence in Southern California with 1,200 employees spread across headquarters, a 62,000-square-foot production and photo studio in Culver City, Calif., that the company moved into last year and a 900,000-square-foot fulfillment center further inland in San Bernardino, Calif.
HauteLook is expected to move to The Bloc in September from its current office across from the Staples Center, bringing with it about 300 workers.
The reason for the move is largely pragmatic, giving the company more parking, closer proximity to mass transit and quieter digs away from construction near the Staples Center.
The Bloc is anchored by the 708,000-square-foot office tower that will be HauteLook’s new home and the Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel. The project’s retail component includes the 10,000-square-foot Free Market by CNTRLgroup, which was behind the Apolis and Alchemy Works stores in the city, and will serve as a hybrid men’s and women’s apparel store and gallery.
Restaurants, which have been chatted up in more recent years by developers as key to lengthening shopping center stays, were another component of Tuesday’s new tenant announcement and include the first West Coast location of the Boston restaurant concept Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse and TLT Food, which got its start as a food truck.
The project’s retail is now about 75 percent leased, according to Brian Cornelius, vice president of retail development at The Ratkovich Company.
“We’re looking for destination brand tenants in the men’s or women’s fashion categories,” Cornelius said of the Bloc’s merchandising strategy. “We still think that we could do a home furnishings use and that would fit within the remaining square footage that’s available and that’s going to be a big demand in downtown because of the new residential.”
HauteLook, along with real estate brokerage Keller Williams and communications firm Golin among other companies, brings the office tower’s occupancy up to roughly 60 percent.
Construction crews on Tuesday tore down the roof of the Macy’s building in a move that signals “the beginning of the end” of the project’s construction, said Ratkovich Company chief operating officer Clare DeBriere. “It’s the kickoff of the final phase of construction.”
The Bloc is slated for a fall opening.