Details unfurled for $170M renovation of Fashion District’s California Market Center

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The Fashion District’s California Market Center is undergoing a $170 million, Gensler-designed renovation that’s aimed solidly at attracting tenants beyond the fashion industry.

The CMC takes up a whole city block bounded by Ninth, Main, Olympic, and Los Angeles. It opened in 1963 as the place for fashion wholesalers, but with the increased interest of internet-based companies like Netflix, Facebook, and Google in office space that is more open to both coworkers and the outdoors, new majority stakeholder Brookfield Properties is investing $170 million to redo the complex and make it more inviting to a whole new kind of tenant.

The upgrades officially kicked off in November. To passersby, the most obvious work might be the removal the two-story former bank building at the corner of Ninth and Main street.

The makeover will also remove 24 escalators in the building and replace them with “stairways leading to 30-foot-wide open-air indoor bridges that can be used like outdoor decks,” says the Los Angeles Times. Walls of glass will be taken off the buildings’ exteriors “to create open-air gathering spaces known as loggias that will often connect to rooftop decks.”

The goal is to create a space that’s more inviting to the kind of big-name tenants who have been flocking to Culver City, Hollywood, and Playa Vista in droves.

A number of developments are proposed or underway within the Fashion District’s borders, including a 379-unit apartment complex and a $170 million redevelopment of the Flower Mart.

The very enclosed interiors of the CMC would be opened up.

A rooftop loggia.

The entrance off Ninth and Hill will have a lot more space once that bank building is taken out.

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