Urban Fold

Radical Surgery Planned for Outdated Downtown L.A. 'Fortress'

Famous for renovating well-known historic properties, Los Angeles developer Wayne Ratkovich is taking on a new challenge: transforming a fortress-like enclosed mall that sits smack in the middle of booming downtown L.A.

"It was hailed as a crowning achievement for Los Angeles in the early 1970s — an indoor shopping mall that filled an entire downtown block and also boasted a plush hotel and a high-rise office building. For years, tourists flocked to the premier address," writes Roger Vincent. "These days, however, Macy's Plaza has devolved into a dated, downscale relic and gets little love, even at the busy intersection of 7th and Flower streets."

"In one of the largest Southern California purchases this year, Ratkovich bought Macy's Plaza for $241 million and announced plans for a $160-million transformation," explains Vincent. A renovation being designed by architecture firm Johnson Fain, "involves removing the mall's glass atrium roof and ripping out ground-level brick walls to bring stores and restaurants to the adjacent sidewalks."

"The moves would reverse discredited 20th century planning theories that called for keeping shoppers contained in sterile malls, safe from unsavory streets," says Vincent.

Full Story: Developer has big plans for dated Macy's Plaza in downtown L.A.

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