Monday, September 1, 2008

The Evolution of Spring Street

There are a lot of changes happening in my little slice of Downtown. The Hayward Hotel is completing a revamping of its facade in anticipation of new tenants, including a yogurt shop (groan...), a clothing store and a 2,000-sf market (yay!!). Across the street, a nightclub will be opening at the Stock Exchange Building (though a lot of people aren't happy about the news). There's the revamped Charley O's and another nightclub opening in the Spring Arts Tower. And there are at least four buildings that will open up for residency in the next year. On my corner alone we're looking at 200 new units.

I really think that Spring Street has the biggest potential to become the heart of the "new" Historic Core--much more so than Broadway. Broadway as it is now is a success--not for the folks who are moving into the lofts, but for the people who come in from the Eastside (the real Eastside) to shop. Broadway is packed every weekend and it has some of the highest retail rents in Los Angeles--almost as high as Beverly Hills! It's obviously profitable for the building owners as-is, so what incentive do they have to upgrade the retail space to accommodate more upscale stores?

In contrast, Spring Street has gorgeous buildings that are rapidly filling with residents and many empty storefronts that can be upgraded without displacing any tenants. It's also lined with ficus trees (which Bert Green and I both like), making it very inviting for pedestrians, even in the heat of the summer.

I like the idea of two Downtown shopping districts coexisting side-by-side. I can shop at the stores on Broadway when I need inexpensive things for the house, but still have my iced coffee at LA Cafe. It's hard for people in LA to imagine having two wildly different shopping areas existing thisclose together, but if you've ever been to NYC, you know it can work.


BusTard said...

There was a night club at the Stock Exchange in 2000, and it was not well received then, either. The cars and noise in the rear (on main) would last until 4 a.m. at times, and cops would show up to clear things up, which resulted in even more noise for a little while longer. While the rear exit was primarily used, the grand front doors (on Spring) were open to a select crowd.

Hatchetgirl said...

If they have a club at the Stock Exchange, I hope they make a point of keeping the noise down.