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Historic Buildings to Become Modern Offices and Retail

Earlier this year, New York-based Atlas Capital Group began upgrading a pair of historic buildings in the Downtown Los Angeles into modern offices and retail space. At the southeast corner of 7th and Olive Streets, crews are currently gutting the interior of the 99-year-old LA Jewelry Mart. The six-story edifice, built in 1917 as a Villa de Paris department store, features approximately 85,000 square feet of office space on its upper levels and 14,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.

First Look at the Eighth & Figueroa Tower

The updated website of real estate firm Mitsui Fudosan America has published renderings for Eighth & Figueroa, a proposed residential-retail tower in Downtown Los Angeles. The new images, unearthed by the blog LAOCDB, portray the high-rise development as a boxy glass tower protruding from a four-level podium. The 43-story building, named for its location at 8th and Figueroa Streets, would feature 436 residential units, an outdoor amenity deck, 11,000 square feet of street-fronting commercial space, and parking accommodations for 460 vehicles and 400 bicycles.

Steel Framework Rises for the Wilshire Grand's Crown

More than 800 feet above the streets of Downtown Los Angeles, work has commenced on the steel skeleton of the Wilshire Grand’s sailboat-inspired crown. Images captured by architectural photographer Hunter Kerhart and crane operator Josh Wiggins showcase progress on the latticework structure, which will eventually anchor a stainless steel spire. The 1,100-foot tall tower, designed by Los Angeles-based architecture firm A.C. Martin, will feature approximately 360,000 square feet of office space, more than 45,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, and a 900-key InterContinental Hotel.

Wilshire Grand "Construction" Update

I use the word “construction,” liberally, since it’s just excavation at this point in the process. But starting in November of this year, concrete begins filling the massive dirt pit. In April of 2014, the steel framework of the Wilshire Grand begins its three year ascent to the peak of the Los Angeles skyline. In August of 2015, the tower is expected to reach its 1,100 foot apex above the corner of Wilshire and Figueroa.

Zara Setting Up Shop at Figat7th

Walking down Figueroa this afternoon, it was impossible to miss the large wooden barriers that have gone up at Figat7th. Spanish retailer Zara signed a 10 year lease for 27,000 square feet of ground floor space in the shopping center earlier this year. With the store scheduled to open in Spring of 2014, it looks like Zara has gotten the ball rolling on building out its new location.

More Upgrades for 7th Street/Metro Center Station

Over the past year, Metro Rail’s increased passenger load has coincided with a slew of ugrades to the Financial District’s 7th Street/Metro Center Station. The latest in the ongoing series of improvements is the addition of next-train monitors on the station’s upper platform. Utilizing a large, ADA-compliant font size, these monitors display countdown timers for trains on Metro’s Blue and Expo light rail lines. These relatively simple upgrades can go a long way, given the hectic (and claustrophobic) rush hour environment within the station.

Crane Action at the Wilshire Grand Site

Passers by may have noticed the recent addition of a mobile crane to the massive Wilshire Grand construction site. Perhaps Turner Construction is about to install a larger stationary crane? Or maybe it has something to do with tomorrow’s “bottoming out,” ceremony. Crews have now excavated the site down to 106 feet below street level, capping off a demolition process which began late in 2012. Soon afterwards, the Wilshire Grand begins a three year climb to its 1,100 foot apex.

DTLA's New and Improved Seventh Street

Thanks to funds contributed by the developer of the Wilshire Grand Center, improvements are coming to a stretch of Seventh Street between Figueroa and Olive Streets, as well as to the bridges which carry Wilshire Boulevard and Seventh Street above the Harbor Freeway. You can view slides from the presentation here.

Downtown's Foreman & Clark Building Getting Residential Conversion

Located at the southwest corner of 7th and Hill Streets, the Foreman & Clark Building was once a pillar of Downtown Los Angeles’ pre-war retail scene. Now, the owner of the mid-rise structure has proposed a mixed-use conversion that could restore the art deco gem to its former stature. According to plans submitted to the city last month, the discount jewelry stores which currently occupy the 13-story tower’s ground floor would be given the boot, to be replaced by two restaurants and a bar-lounge.

Watch the West Coast's Tallest Skyscraper Rise

At long last, we can take in live construction updates for the massive Wilshire Grand thanks to a camera perched above Ernst & Young Plaza. The 73-story tower, designed by architecture firm AC Martin, will eventually rise 1,100 feet to become the West Coast’s tallest building. The project, which is being developed by Korean Airlines, will offer 400,000 square feet of creative office space, a 900-room Intercontinental Hotel, a rooftop observation deck and ground-level stores and restaurants when completed in 2017.