Users of Downtown LA’s 7th Street/Metro Center subway station will have a new way to access the transit hub where four Metro rail and subway lines pass through. As Urbanize LA reports, a new pedestrian tunnel will open February 7 at The Bloc.
The tunnel will give transit riders a direct route into the recently redesigned shopping complex from the station across the street. Right now, the station has two entrances—both of them on the northern side of Seventh Street. As such, the new tunnel will also allow pedestrians easy access to the station from both sides of the street.
The tunnel will make the Seventh Street station the first in its rail network that exits directly into a private business establishment. Perhaps not so coincidentally, the transit agency recently decided to allow corporate sponsors to buy naming rights to its stations.
The Bloc opened over the summer as an open air overhaul of the imposing Macy’s shopping plaza. The new complex still includes Macy’s and the Sheraton Hotel, and it should soon draw steady crowds of trendy urbanites with an array of stylish boutiques and a hotly-anticipated Alamo Drafthouse movie theater.
Metro approved the tunnel in 2015, and construction has proceeded rather quickly because, as DTLA Rising notes, the station was originally constructed with knockout walls to allow for a project like this to easily get underway. It’s taken more than a quarter-century, but Metro and The Bloc’s owners are now capitalizing on that foresight.