Apple rumored to turn huge downtown LA building into flagship store, office space

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2014
A new rumor claims Apple has leased a large part of the Broadway Trade Center, a five-story, 1.1 million-square-foot building located in downtown Los Angeles, Calif., and is looking to convert the space into a mini campus complete with Apple Store.


Broadway Trade Center, Los Angeles, Calif. | Source: Los Angeles Times


Citing an anonymous tipster, the Downtown Examiner reported last week that Apple has signed a lease for "several hundred thousand square-feet" of space in the building, but offered no expected move-in date.

As far as how the gigantic area will be used, there are rumblings of a multi-use "campus" with offices, residential and retail space. Aside from a flagship Apple Store, a portion of the plot could be earmarked for a shop dedicated to Beats by Dre hardware, the site said.

According to ifoAppleStore, the location currently plays host to multiple swap meet style shops on the ground floors and a light manufacturer on the upper levels. Noting Apple's penchant for leasing in up-and-coming locales, the website points to an initiative called "Bringing Back Broadway," a ten-year plan to revitalize the historic Broadway area with theaters, commercial space and even a streetcar.

The Broadway Trade Center started life in 1908 as the Hamburger department store, which incorporated a restaurant, grocery store, post office, roof garden, theater and physician's office. Department store chain May Co. purchased the building in 1923 and later built on the property with a connected nine-story tower and one of the first parking garages in the U.S.

In 1979, the U.S. National Park Service listed the Broadway Theater and Commercial District in the National Register of Historic Places (PDF link), saying the Broadway Trade Center (then May Co.) is an architectural landmark "contributing character" to the area.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times in April, the building was purchased in 2014 for an estimated $115 million to $130 million by New York real estate investment firm Waterbridge Capital.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,373member
    Hey it's only a rumor so I can speculate too right ? I wonder if, rather than Apple leasing the building, might Waterbridge Capital have really been fronting for Apple in the purchase?
  • Reply 2 of 24
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,518member
    T'would bring much cred to the long-developing arts community downtown. The nearest Apple stores I can think of are about eight miles in Glendale, which is like traveling to the last century.
    That would be to either the co-original Apple retail location in the Galleria, now orphaned by a larger store nearby in the themed "Americana" Caruso development that risks sending one into existential despair.

    Apple's mindshare value would go up tremendously with a store in downtown LA. The city simply has no other central core for the arts, in my opinion. If they could recapture the feel of the original 1906 department store interior, that would be just amazing.
  • Reply 3 of 24
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,518member
    Hey it's only a rumor so I can speculate too right ? I wonder if, rather than Apple leasing the building, might Waterbridge Capital have really been fronting for Apple in the purchase?

    Great idea, hopefully someone will look into it. This topic already woke me up too early, so i'm bailing.
  • Reply 4 of 24
    flaneur wrote: »
    T'would bring much cred to the long-developing arts community downtown. The nearest Apple stores I can think of are about eight miles in Glendale, which is like traveling to the last century.
    That would be to either the co-original Apple retail location in the Galleria, now orphaned by a larger store nearby in the themed "Americana" Caruso development that risks sending one into existential despair.

    Apple's mindshare value would go up tremendously with a store in downtown LA. The city simply has no other central core for the arts, in my opinion. If they could recapture the feel of the original 1906 department store interior, that would be just amazing.

    I believe the next closest Apple Store is in Manhattan Beach at the mall.
  • Reply 5 of 24
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    Hey it's only a rumor so I can speculate too right ? I wonder if, rather than Apple leasing the building, might Waterbridge Capital have really been fronting for Apple in the purchase?



    Except Apple already has a property front company, Braeburn Capital.

  • Reply 6 of 24
    I believe the next closest Apple Store is in Manhattan Beach at the mall.

    So, in the spirit of random speculation, is the Manhattan Beach location going to move across the street to El Segundo in the new mall? It is supposed to have some very high end stores, and there is actually enough space for a reasonable store. Too bad pedestrian/bicycle access sucks.

    Santa Monica is closer and faster though from downtown.
  • Reply 7 of 24
    Turn it into their fashion group
  • Reply 8 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,373member

    Except Apple already has a property front company, Braeburn Capital.

    Well I was only speculating ... :) Of course they may have used a different one on this occasion so as not to be so obvious. I bet as soon as anyone knows Apple is involved they grab their big boy pants these days ... ;)
  • Reply 9 of 24
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post





    Well I was only speculating ... image Of course they may have used a different one on this occasion so as not to be so obvious. I bet as soon as anyone knows Apple is involved they grab their big boy pants these days ... image



    True, and it's not a bad speculation. Braeburn is probably known in some circles, but the general public wouldn't recognize it.

     

    Waterbridge was founded in 2000 and seems to dabble in lots of things (they're NYC based), pretty sure they're not owned by Apple. Besides, they named Braeburn after a variety of apple. ;)

  • Reply 10 of 24
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,449member
    I believe the next closest Apple Store is in Manhattan Beach at the mall.
    aaarrrgggh wrote: »
    Santa Monica is closer and faster though from downtown.
    You're both wrong. The next closet Apple Store is their LA flagship in the Grove Shopping Center near CBS Television City, just off Fairfax, between Beverly & Third. If not Old Town Pasadena, just up the 110 freeway, or the aforementioned Glendale Gallaria store. Somebody ask Siri.

    However, once the Expo line is complete, it will be a simple train ride to Santa Monica Third street.

    What a downtown store will get Apple though is immediate access to all those USC students, and the huge growing hipster residents spilling over from Sikverlale -- a very affluent and artistic community.
  • Reply 11 of 24
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

     
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post



    T'would bring much cred to the long-developing arts community downtown. The nearest Apple stores I can think of are about eight miles in Glendale, which is like traveling to the last century.

    That would be to either the co-original Apple retail location in the Galleria, now orphaned by a larger store nearby in the themed "Americana" Caruso development that risks sending one into existential despair.



    Apple's mindshare value would go up tremendously with a store in downtown LA. The city simply has no other central core for the arts, in my opinion. If they could recapture the feel of the original 1906 department store interior, that would be just amazing.




    I believe the next closest Apple Store is in Manhattan Beach at the mall.



    Century City is closer, and probably even Santa Monica as well. (But then, I'm waiting for the next 5th Ave store, so what do I know)

  • Reply 12 of 24
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

     
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    I believe the next closest Apple Store is in Manhattan Beach at the mall.



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post



    Santa Monica is closer and faster though from downtown.


    You're both wrong. The next closet Apple Store is their LA flagship in the Grove Shopping Center near CBS Television City, just off Fairfax, between Beverly & Third. If not Old Town Pasadena, just up the 110 freeway, or the aforementioned Glendale Gallaria store. Somebody ask Siri.



    However, once the Expo line is complete, it will be a simple train ride to Santa Monica Third street.



    What a downtown store will get Apple though is immediate access to all those USC students, and the huge growing hipster residents spilling over from Sikverlale -- a very affluent and artistic community.



    Wait; I thought the question was, what store is closest to downtown after "The Grove"?

  • Reply 13 of 24
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,518member
    I believe the next closest Apple Store is in Manhattan Beach at the mall.

    Several stores are closer than Manhattan Beach. Now I think about it, though, the Pasadena store is maybe a bit closer than Glendale, plus there's an actual way to get there easily without a car (in LA!!). Some of those downtown types are probably going carless these days.

    Anyway, you got The Grove at Fairfax and Third, the Beverly Center just a mile further at La Cienega, the Sherman Oaks store off the 101 in the Valley, and, like aaarrrggghh said, Santa Monica, but you can't get across the city anymore at any reasonable hour.

    Ten stores but no flagship. Does LA deserve one, diffuse as it is? I'd like to see one devoted to teaching video editing, since there used to be a lot of that for Apple—before Final Cut X, don't know how it is now—and also focused on graphic arts, another LA industry. Bizarre's suggestion to turn it into Apple's fashion center isn't so far-fetched, since LA's garment, fashion and jewelry districts are all very close by this building.

    Edit: Mac _128 has a keen cultural geography going at post 11. How could we (me) forget USC? And Silverlake and ECHO PARK!!! But where are they going to park? Maybe there's a solution to that nearby. Have to scope it out.
  • Reply 14 of 24
    Do it, Apple.
  • Reply 15 of 24
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     



    Except Apple already has a property front company, Braeburn Capital.




    But... if they know we know that...  Won't they zag when we think they should zig?

  • Reply 16 of 24
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

     



    But... if they know we know that...  Won't they zag when we think they should zig?




    Unless they expect we'd expect that, so they figure that we would figure they wouldn't use Braeburn, and then they'd feel safe using Braeburn.

  • Reply 17 of 24

    As far as how the gigantic area will be used, there are rumblings of a multi-use "campus" with offices, residential and retail space. Aside from a flagship Apple Store, a portion of the plot could be earmarked for a shop dedicated to Beats by Dre hardware, the site said.
    Apple is bringing it's expertise in retail to the beats brand. In a few years I wouldn't be surprised if there aren't "Beats Studio Stores" that sell an expanded line of fashion/technology/life-style products.
  • Reply 18 of 24
    It makes sense. There's no convenient store in that area and they can move the iTunes division offices there and be convenient to numerous studios etc. since that office is handling content contracts for movies, shows etc being more central (compared to their rumored location in Santa Monica) is good.
  • Reply 19 of 24

    Except Apple already has a property front company, Braeburn Capital.

    But everyone knows this.so Apple might be working via another group to try to keep it a secret
  • Reply 20 of 24
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    i wish someone at appleinsider would learn the definition of "flagship". seems every article that mentions an apple store includes the word.
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