March 1, 2017
Connect Retail West is coming up Thursday, March 16, 2017. Here’s where to register for The Future of Retail.
By Dennis Kaiser
The Bloc commemorated the opening of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (Metro) $9.3-million pedestrian passageway at Downtown Los Angeles’ (DTLA) 7th Street/Metro Center Station. The 25-foot-long passageway greatly improves pedestrian access to and from one of the busiest L.A. rail hubs. The portal connects the station’s mezzanine with The Bloc, which is in the final stages of a $180-million renovation. The Ratkovich Company’s Wayne Ratkovich, who partnered with National Real Estate Advisors, Blue Vista Capital and Studio One Eleven to redevelop the MXU project, shared how this transit-oriented project came about and why it is important for SoCal.
Q: What is different or unique about the pedestrian passageway between The Bloc and Metro’s 7th Street/Metro Center Station?
A: As Metro’s first-ever public-private partnership connecting the system directly into the heart of a private property, it required courage and vision by the Metro Board to try something new and something innovative. The portal is a successful public-private endeavor that connects Metro to a privately owned property. For years the connection was available, but was resisted by prior owners.
Q: How does the portal change DTLA and The Bloc? What does it mean for the market and the project?
A: This portal in many ways represents the doorway to the future of Los Angeles. It is an important signal of the transformation of Los Angeles into a 24/7 city, where people and destinations are directly connected. The day when residents of Los Angeles live in the city without owning a car may be much nearer that we have ever imagined. The portal benefits The Bloc,and that is why we invested nearly $5 million in making the connection. We think, and hope, it will benefit DTLA by providing convenient access.
Q: Why are transit-oriented features important to have today in mixed-use developments such as The Bloc?
A: Transit enables employers to more expeditiously and economically connect with employees and customers. In DTLA, it enables us to connect in all four directions. From the beginning, it was our hope to link this massive project, set at the heart of our city, to the entire Southern California region.
Some have described The Bloc as the Rockefeller Center of Los Angeles, a compliment we gratefully receive. Although it has taken longer and cost more to complete, The Bloc is on its way to being a great success and the Metro Portal is a powerful addition to our investment. With the former Macy’s Plaza transformed into The Bloc, we now have a reimagined 33-story office tower, full of creative leaning tenants, a fully renovated and successful Sheraton Grand hotel, that is frequently 90% occupied, and a fully renovated Macy’s flagship, the No. 1 growth store in their chain. The Bloc is indeed the place to be in DTLA.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser