Savvy Retail and Restaurant Reuse Mark Next Phase of Dowtown LA Revival

In a feature for The Architect's Newspaper, Marissa Gluck profiles the "retro-chic makeovers" transforming downtown Los Angeles.

Last week we looked at the foundation for Downtown LA's residential renaissance provided by the adoption of 1999's Adaptive Reuse Ordinance. This week we deliver a profile of the savvy adaptive reuse projects providing the venues for all those new residents to enjoy a cocktail, a meal, or a clothing splurge in "retro-chic" comfort.

As Gluck notes, "since 2008 over 400 new restaurant and retail shops have opened in Downtown LA, with another 50 expected to open this year. With an abundance of largely intact historical buildings, architects and designers have paid homage to the past by restoring or re-creating many of classic features while adding a modern sensibility."

Examining recent projects such as UMAMIcatessen, Las Perlas, Bäco Mercat, and the much anticipated renovation of the legendary Clifton's Cafeteria, Gluck observes that in spite of obstacles inherent in renovating historic buildings and a cumbersome approvals process, "new projects are announced with increasing frequency."

"With the economy recovering, albeit slowly, and demand mounting for the kind of singular experience offered by adaptive reuse projects, the resurrection of these gorgeous art deco, Beaux Arts and modernist buildings looks to continue."

Full Story: Feature> Reuse Renaissance

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