Platform L.A. is expanding its collection of offbeat stores and trendy eateries along Culver City’s Hayden Tract. The project is barely a year old and temporary and permanent retail space is in demand. Platform L.A. developer Runyon Group LLC had the foresight to acquire an adjacent building that will provide 6,000 square feet of retail space and 60,000 square feet of office space.
“When we finished the project and saw the success of the neighborhood, we bought the property next door,” said Joseph Miller, cofounder of the Runyon Group LLC, adding that Technicolor subsidiary PMC will open its headquarters there, while Bird, the Brooklyn-based purveyor of men’s and women’s fashion and accessories, will anchor the new retail area.
Platform feeds off change with a tenant roster that’s constantly in a state of flux. Temporary concepts come and go, while pop-up shops exhibit long-term potential are transitioned to permanent status. “That’s how retail is today,” Miller said. “It’s always changing today. You have to be on the cusp and fluid.”
Upcoming pop-up shops, include Joey Wolffer’s Styleliner; jewelry retailer Catbird; online marketplace Garmentory; British resort and swimwear label Prism; In Support Of, a multibrand retailer with a charitable component, and Stay, the first retail concept from Spring Street Social Club, which brings members together for dinners, immersive theater and cultural salons.
A perception that Platform L.A. is mostly pop-up shops is not true. “Temporary is less than 10 percent of our total square footage,” Miller said. “From a space perspective there’s not a lot of it, but from a mission perspective it’s big. At this point, it’s getting harder and harder to accommodate [tenants]. We have a couple of spaces that we’re keeping as temporary. We’ve built flexibility into the model.”
“Platform is an evolving, living breathing thing,” said David Fishbein, Miller’s partner, noting that Tom Dixon’s home concept store will introduce a new temporary fashion in-store shop, and a restaurant that opens into The Shop is in the works. “A big piece of Platform is the mixture of permanent and rotating concept stores. It’s continued moving pieces.”
The Edit, which features shoes by Freda Salvador, and Janessa Leone’s hats, was originally planned as temporary, but Miller and Fishbein decided to give it permanent status. Ditto: Pop Suki. “It doesn’t have a lot of product, but it’s a fun company,” Miller said. “It’s interesting, because in the business plan it wasn’t intended to go permanent. When you see something resonating with the consumer and it’s really addictive, you can’t be so rigid with your plans.”
To continue thriving, Miller and Fishbein know they have to keep Platform L.A.’s retail concepts and restaurants unique. “A big piece of it is that so much of retail is commoditized,” Fishbein said. “A lot of the excitement of shopping has been lost. We’re not seeing a lot that’s unique and limited edition. We work with our merchants to provide content that’s not distributed all over L.A. I think a big piece of it is that people are changing their attentions.
Runyon Group is leasing The Row DTLA for Atlas Capital Group using the same philosophy of leaning toward less-exposed tenants. The project, which consists of 32 acres of historic buildings, is taking shape. Renovation started on several buildings and the The Row’s first 25 leases were signed. Tenants, which will bow later this year, include A+R, furniture, lighting and home decor; Bodega, streetwear and sneakers; Poketo, tabletop and kids; Hancock, furniture and avant-garde fashion; Scent Bar; J Brand; Gossamer, vintage-inspired apparel; Vrai & Oro jewelry; Shades of Grey, Micah Cohen’s secondary line for men; 13 Bonaparte, and Lust, Covet, Desire, emerging designers.
“In all of our projects, we like a mix of uses and a mix of price points,” Miller said. “There’s an overall move toward people wanting stuff that’s limited edition, edited and unique. When a brand does a limited-edition run, it sells really quickly. We’re seeing resistance to things that are widely sold.”