The first inkling came in January, but this week it became official: Forever 21 is coming to the California Market Center (CMC) complex in Downtown Los Angeles.

Forever 21 parent company SPARC Group has inked a lease with landlord Brookfield Properties for 164,000 square feet of space at the property, which will account for two full office floors. The new space will house Forever 21's brand headquarters, as well as West Coast-based employees for Lucky Brand.

“CMC has served as a historic cornerstone for L.A.’s most forward-thinking entrepreneurs in the fashion industry,” said Brookfield Properties executive vice president Bert Dezzutti in a statement. “Now, the new CMC has been reimagined to appeal not just to fashion-focused commerce but also to creatives from the technology, entertainment and media industries. We are excited to welcome SPARC to the new CMC.”

View of California Market Center plaza from Main StreetHunter Kerhart Architectural Photography

SPARC will use the property to house a mock store for training employees, and studio space for product photography and multimedia.

“We were in search of a ‘forever home’ to consolidate Forever 21’s headquarters and Lucky Brand’s West Coast offices,” said SPARC Group’s chief executive officer Marc Miller. “Between the large open and efficient floor plates and a centralized location as well as an incredible history anchoring the west coast fashion industry, CMC was a perfect fit for us.”

California Market Center, which recently wrapped up a multi-year renovation, consists of 1.8 million square feet of space across a trio of 13-story buildings at the intersection of 9th and Main Streets. Other office tenants at the property include Adidas, which leased 107,000 square feet of space earlier this year.

1520 N. Cahuenga BoulevardJLL

In Hollywood, JLL announced this week that OUTFRONT Media has signed a 34,000-square-foot lease for the entire building at 1520 N. Cahuenga Boulevard which was recently vacated by Urban Outfitters and Umami Burger. OUTFRONT will use the building for its Los Angeles headquarters office.

Nicole Mihalka, Carl Muhlstein and Caitlyn Ross of JLL represented the landlord, a joint venture between Artisan Ventures and Walton Street Capital, while OUTFRONT Media was represented by Steve Eyler of Cresa.

"We are seeing continued demand for freestanding campus environments, including the adaptive reuse of retail and industrial buildings into office spaces where creative tenants can build a culture, brand and vibe,” said Mihalka. “With excellent visibility and ample outdoor space to work and entertain, this is the perfect location for a dynamic tenant in Hollywood’s vibrant Vinyl District.”

635 Mateo StreetJLL

Law firm Gunderson Dettmer has inked a 24,567-square-foot lease for the entire building at 635 Mateo Street in the Arts District, JLL announced yesterday.  

The two-story building, constructed in 1929 as the headquarters for Hills Brothers Coffee, has more recently been used as a filming location for the likes of Beverly Hills Cop, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Nicole Mihalka, Dana Vargas, and Caitlyn Ross of JLL represented the landlord, Mateo Street Properties, Inc., while Richard Abbitt and Ryan Shuler of Industry Partners represented the tenant.


A Metrolink train in San ClementeWikimedia Commons

Metrolink put into service a refurbished passenger train car featuring new and improved passenger amenities designed for a more enjoyable, productive and safe ride. The train car is the first of 50 slated for renovation.

The first of Metrolink's older rail cars to receive their "mid-life make-over" has reentered service, the transportation agency announced this week. Upgrades include a switch to vinyl seating and non-carpeted flooring, new air filtration and UV lighting to fight bacteria and pollutants, and more.

Metrolink's more than 500-mile network is served by 121 train cars, built between 1992 and 2002. The agency is refurbishing 50 of its cars, with the first 17 to reenter service by the end of 2022, and the remainder by early 2024.

Here's what we're reading this week:

Is the Key to the Affordable Housing Crisis More Capitalism? "It now costs $600,000 to build a unit of affordable housing in Los Angeles. SoLa Impact is doing it for $250,000–and making money for investors." (Bloomberg)

Former Arclight in Culver City, which has reportedly been leased by AmazonWikimedia Commons

Amazon Studios Plans First-Run Movie Theater in Culver City, California "Construction Underway, Liquor License Sought by Owner of Wolfgang Puck Brand" (CoStar)

LA’s New 6th Street Bridge Has Bike Lanes, But Will They Protect Cyclists? "More than a decade in the remaking, the new viaduct spans over the Los Angeles River, connecting Boyle Heights to the east with the Arts District to the west. It cost roughly $588 million, with funding from the Federal Highway Transportation Administration, Caltrans and the city of L.A. The bridge opened to the public last weekend, but even before that cyclists and safety advocates were voicing concerns over the bike infrastructure included in the project." (LAist)

The new 6th Street bridge’s baptism by L.A.: Street racers, skaters, taggers and a crash "Official hope the $588-million bridge will be more venerable icon than urban Thunderdome — akin to the Golden Gate or Brooklyn bridges. But Los Angeles — birthplace of skater and lowrider cultures, land of commuters, taggers and Insta influencers — has a way of spinning its own stories." (LA Times)

View of the viaduct and Downtown skylineGary Leonard

Got an eviction notice? This California website will help you file a response. "Failure to file an answer within five days can result in an eviction. Tenant advocates and attorneys built an online tool to buy tenants some time." (CalMatters)

More evidence that bosses want you back to work in the office despite COVID’s endless grip "Office leasing patterns in Los Angeles County in the second quarter revealed uncertainties about how working from home will change office use in the years ahead. L.A.-area office buildings remain less than half as populated as they were before the pandemic, real estate industry observers said. Yet some businesses are making big commitments to their offices and signing long leases for large blocks of space, according to second-quarter leasing numbers from real estate brokerage CBRE. Amazon, for instance. said in May that it will rent 200,000 square feet at the Water Garden office complex in Santa Monica to add corporate and tech jobs." (LA Times)

The '15-Minute City': A Strategy To Reduce The Traffic, Pollution And High Housing Costs In LA "Implementing the plan doesn't come without obstacles: among other things, it will require rezoning certain areas, dealing with legal challenges and red tape, and dropping the requirement to build parking, in addition to political and industry buy-in. But the initiative has momentum. It's now officially part of L.A.’s housing element in the new general plan, which is updated every eight years....Culver City is on its way to implementing many of the ideas and possibly also working it into their general plan. And a state bill that would eliminate the parking spot requirement for smaller developments is currently being considered." (LAist)

Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) released for extension of L Line to Whittier "The proposed project would extend the L Line for nine miles from East Los Angeles to Whittier, serving the cities of Commerce, Montebello, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs and Whittier, and the unincorporated communities of East Los Angeles and West Whittier-Los Nietos. The Draft EIR evaluates the proposed alternatives for the project, as well as their potential impacts and mitigation measures." (The Source)

Aerial view looking southeast toward Downtown Los AngelesKilograph

Giant development site near Echo Park for sale "Formerly the headquarters for the Metropolitan Water District Headquarters, the site has been cleared for a Century City-like development with several towers, two acres of open space, and possibly a hotel. It is being offered for sale along with a parking structure on the other side of Beaudry Avenue." (The Eastsider)

Eyes on the Street: 7th Street Curb-Protected Bike Lanes Under Construction "The city of L.A. is adding a mile of curb-protected bike lanes on 7th Street. The $18.7 million 7th Street Streetscape project extends one mile from San Pedro Street to Figueroa Street. It will include the bikeway, expanded sidewalks, pedestrian/cyclist-scale lighting, bus islands, and new trees." (Streetsblog LA)

98 Years Later, Bruce’s Beach Land Returned to Wronged Black Family "A racial injustice over a century ago saw the city of Manhattan Beach steal land from the Bruces; now they will lease it back to the county for $413,000 a year" (LA Magazine)

Los Angeles could soon put recycled water directly in your tap. It’s not ‘toilet to tap’ "A direct potable reuse demonstration facility near the Headworks reservoir just north of Griffith Park probably will be the state’s first approved direct potable reuse project, said Jesus Gonzalez, manager of water recycling policy at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. It will take advantage of recycled water produced by a facility in Glendale, but the water will not be added to the drinking water system just yet. However, it will serve as proof of concept, he said." (LA Times)