clock menu more-arrow no yes

Mapping the Historic Core's Development Boom

Creative offices, residential towers, and a new museum

View as Map

The Historic Core's lovely old buildings have long been used as filming locations and affordable housing for low-income tenants, but over the last few years, developer interest in the neighborhood has ramped up. Just west of Skid Row and south of the Civic Center, this pocket is most notably home to Grand Central Market and Pershing Square, which, is, thankfully, being redesigned.

Developers are eying such places as the Title Insurance and Trust building, which is being remade into creative offices. And, a block of Main between Third and Second streets could possibly lose an entire row of longtime businesses, including popular DIY venue The Smell. Those businesses have been threatened with demolition, though their fate, as of now, is murky. A couple of other big projects worth noting are underway on the Historic Core's southern outskirts, too: The Broadway Palace, a mix of 439 residential units and 35,000 square feet of retail at 928 S. Broadway, and the restoration and transformation of the Broadway Trade Center, which will house a food hall, bars, retail, a hotel, a rooftop public park, and more.

For better or worse, all of these projects together will likely have a big impact on the Historic Core in the near future.

Read More

1. The Cecil Hotel

Copy Link
640 S Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90014

The longstanding history of creepy, tragic goings-on at the Cecil are set to be redeveloped away by Simon Baron Development, which is transforming the hotel/residential building into micro-units and a boutique hotel. Work is expected to begin in the spring of 2017 and continue for about two years.

2. The Smell

Copy Link
247 S Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

The Smell and its neighbors in the low-slung buildings on Main between Second and Third streets received a nasty pre-Labor Day surprise: they discovered the owners of the buildings, L & R Group of Companies, had filed an application for a demolition permit. The company said they had no immediate plans to demolish, and were merely trying to keep their options open. But that's not been too reassuring for these tenants on month-to-month leases.

3. Banco Popular Building

Copy Link
354 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Built as the Hellman building in 1903, the structure became the Banco Popular when the Puerto Rican bank bought the structure in the 1970s. The building is now slated to be converted into 188 fancy apartments with a rooftop pool, lounge, and restaurant.

4. Main Museum of Los Angeles Art

Copy Link
401 S Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Previously known as the Old Bank District Museum, this museum from developer Tom Gilmore and his partner Jerri Perrone would put an art museum inside parts of currently existing buildings in the neighborhood, and cap the whole thing off with a rooftop sculpture garden and cafe. The Tom Wiscombe-designed institution is expected to take at least four years to build and cost about $55 million.

5. Barclay Hotel

Copy Link
103 W 4th St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

The Barclay Hotel could go from a single-resident occupancy establishment to trendier hotel—at least, that's the expected outcome now that the Beaux Arts building is up for sale. Once the high-end Van Nuys hotel (the first to provide electricity in every room!), the Barclay has appeared in droves of movies and is a city Historic-Cultural Monument.

6. The Alexan

Copy Link
850 S Hill St
Los Angeles, CA 90014

The Alexan tower would measure 26 stories and hold 305 luxury apartments. At that height, some local NIMBYs are worried that the tower would totally block views of the Eastern Columbia building and have organized opposition to the project.

7. Title Insurance & Trust Co.

Copy Link
443 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Developers Rising Realty Partners are putting creative offices into this empty building. The renovation's expected to run about $40 million. The building opened in 1928 when Spring Street was a bustling financial corridor. The structure features murals by Hugo Ballin, who also has work in the LA Times building and Griffith Observatory.

8. Spring Street Hotel

Copy Link
633 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90014

The slim 28-story planned here would take out a small parking lot and a small restaurant building. Developers Lizard Capital plan to fit 176 rooms, about 1,500 square feet of retail space, a 6,100-square-foot restaurant, and a rooftop bar into project. Construction was scheduled to begin before the end of the year, and wrap up in the second half of 2018.

9. 732 South Spring

Copy Link
732 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90014

Developer Holland Partners is planning two towers at the intersection at Eighth and Spring, and this is one of them. Planned to be 24 stories tall, it will rise on a former parking lot on the northwest corner of the intersection. The tower will have 308 apartments, 7,200 square feet of retail, and a pocket park.

10. 751 South Spring

Copy Link
732 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90014

The second in the duo of towers that Holland Partners, this tower is slated to be 24 stories tall, hold 320 units, and have 9,000 square feet of retail on the first two floors. It's suspected that Holland Partners is hoping to put a grocery store in that space.

Loading comments...

1. The Cecil Hotel

640 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

The longstanding history of creepy, tragic goings-on at the Cecil are set to be redeveloped away by Simon Baron Development, which is transforming the hotel/residential building into micro-units and a boutique hotel. Work is expected to begin in the spring of 2017 and continue for about two years.

640 S Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90014

2. The Smell

247 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

The Smell and its neighbors in the low-slung buildings on Main between Second and Third streets received a nasty pre-Labor Day surprise: they discovered the owners of the buildings, L & R Group of Companies, had filed an application for a demolition permit. The company said they had no immediate plans to demolish, and were merely trying to keep their options open. But that's not been too reassuring for these tenants on month-to-month leases.

247 S Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

3. Banco Popular Building

354 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Built as the Hellman building in 1903, the structure became the Banco Popular when the Puerto Rican bank bought the structure in the 1970s. The building is now slated to be converted into 188 fancy apartments with a rooftop pool, lounge, and restaurant.

354 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

4. Main Museum of Los Angeles Art

401 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Previously known as the Old Bank District Museum, this museum from developer Tom Gilmore and his partner Jerri Perrone would put an art museum inside parts of currently existing buildings in the neighborhood, and cap the whole thing off with a rooftop sculpture garden and cafe. The Tom Wiscombe-designed institution is expected to take at least four years to build and cost about $55 million.

401 S Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

5. Barclay Hotel

103 W 4th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

The Barclay Hotel could go from a single-resident occupancy establishment to trendier hotel—at least, that's the expected outcome now that the Beaux Arts building is up for sale. Once the high-end Van Nuys hotel (the first to provide electricity in every room!), the Barclay has appeared in droves of movies and is a city Historic-Cultural Monument.

103 W 4th St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

6. The Alexan

850 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

The Alexan tower would measure 26 stories and hold 305 luxury apartments. At that height, some local NIMBYs are worried that the tower would totally block views of the Eastern Columbia building and have organized opposition to the project.

850 S Hill St
Los Angeles, CA 90014

7. Title Insurance & Trust Co.

443 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Developers Rising Realty Partners are putting creative offices into this empty building. The renovation's expected to run about $40 million. The building opened in 1928 when Spring Street was a bustling financial corridor. The structure features murals by Hugo Ballin, who also has work in the LA Times building and Griffith Observatory.

443 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

8. Spring Street Hotel

633 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

The slim 28-story planned here would take out a small parking lot and a small restaurant building. Developers Lizard Capital plan to fit 176 rooms, about 1,500 square feet of retail space, a 6,100-square-foot restaurant, and a rooftop bar into project. Construction was scheduled to begin before the end of the year, and wrap up in the second half of 2018.

633 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90014

9. 732 South Spring

732 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

Developer Holland Partners is planning two towers at the intersection at Eighth and Spring, and this is one of them. Planned to be 24 stories tall, it will rise on a former parking lot on the northwest corner of the intersection. The tower will have 308 apartments, 7,200 square feet of retail, and a pocket park.

732 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90014

10. 751 South Spring

732 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

The second in the duo of towers that Holland Partners, this tower is slated to be 24 stories tall, hold 320 units, and have 9,000 square feet of retail on the first two floors. It's suspected that Holland Partners is hoping to put a grocery store in that space.

732 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90014