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DTLA’s Merritt Building to become offices and retail

Built in 1915, its upper floors have been vacant for years

Hunter Kerhart/Curbed LA flickr pool

Canadian developer Bonnis Properties is planning to turn a lovely but neglected neoclassical building on Broadway into a space for offices and retail, reports the Downtown News. Work is expected to get underway this month.

Each floor of the nine-story Merritt Building measures between 6,500 and 7,000 square, which is relatively small, says the News, but it “could appeal to startup companies looking for ‘creative’ space.” Ground floor space, about 5,200 square feet of it, plus the building’s basement and mezzanine will be leased out to retailers.

The ground floor of the Merritt had previously been occupied by check cashing businesses and storefronts selling hats and sunglasses—the type of vendors that were once the cornerstones of the Downtown retail landscape but which are slowly disappearing.

Bonnis bought the property at Eighth and Broadway in November, paying $24 million—an amount the Los Angeles Times called “sky-high.” The massive price tag was largely attributed to the building’s position on Broadway, which is seen as a major Downtown hotspot.

Among its neighbors are Ace Hotel and the under-renovation Broadway Trade Center, which will also have office space, as well as a hotel, a food hall, residential space, and a fantastic rooftop.