A new wrinkle has emerged in the highly anticipated revitalization of Downtown Los Angeles' Broadway Trade Center.

Earlier this year, New York real estate investment firm Waterbridge Capital announced its intent to redevelop the once grand department store into an ecletic mixed-use complex akin to Manhattan's Chelsea Market.  Plans for the 1.1 million-square-foot building call for 500,000 square feet of office space, 200,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, and a hotel with up to 200 guest rooms.  Additional facilities would include a market, a rooftop garden, and daycare centers for children and animals.

These proposed uses will require substantial alterations to the interior of the 107-year-old Beaux Arts masterpiece, which once served as a flaship for the May Company department store chain.  Records from the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety indicate that, in addition to a seismic upgrade, approximately 57,000 square feet of floor space will be removed from the building to create light wells and a courtyard.  Futhermore, the addition of mezzanines and new rooftop levels would increase the building's maximum height from 10 to 16 stories above ground.

Anticipation for the project has heightened over the past month, as the apparel manufacturers and low-cost retailers who previously occupied the structure at 801 South Broadway suddenly vacated the premises.  The first hints of exterior work occurred earlier this week, when workers began installing a protective canopy around the perimeter of the building.

Although an exact timeline for the development has not been released, numerous rumors about potential tenants have emerged nonetheless.  Mostly notably, DTLA Rising reported in January that the fashion brand Gucci has recently set its sights on the neighborhood.

All images courtesy of Hunter Kerhart.