The AmeriGrove on 8th – A Call to Rick Caruso
January 20, 2012 2 Comments
I spend a lot of time walking around Downtown. Every day I take at least two trips and often more between the Financial District and L.A. LIVE, from 7th Street to Olympic, usually on Figueroa or Flower and sometimes by Hope. (No, it’s not a coincidence that those are the three streets with subway portals at the 7th Street / Metro Center Station.)
Every day, I pass what I consider to be the biggest expanse of wasted space in Downtown Los Angeles: The parking lot between Figueroa, Flower, 7th, and 8th. Seriously, at least the (future home of the) Metropolis Development (which is currently a huge parking lot) isn’t sucking energy from the center of Downtown and is and more-or-less hidden over by the freeway. And Pershing Square at least has some places to sit (and an ice rink, movie screen, or concert stage depending on the time of year.) This parking lot is just an expanse of wasted space. The same amount of cars could fit in a structure one-fifth of the size, or a couple underground levels… and I’ve got an idea for what can go on top.
I recently wrote about Seattle’s Retail Development Pacific Place and said I thought it would be a great format for a remodel of Macy’s Plaza. Well, I’ve changed my mind… Macy’s Plaza has it’s own list of problems and differences that would make this format better for a brand new development–right across the street. I also noted Pacific Place’s similarity in ways to The Grove (by developer Rick Caruso, who also owns the Americana at Brand).
This site on 8th Street is directly between Fig@7th and Macy’s Plaza. Fig@7th is currently undergoing an extensive makeover and is preparing the way for a Target and many smaller retailers and restaurants. What a great, concentrated retail district this could become with a Grove-like development between the two existing ones. It would be the perfect place for a brand new, Downtown Nordstrom. Add some housing/hotel/office on top and it’s even better.
It might even entice the owners of Macy’s Plaza to improve their space just in order to compete. We win all around.
Here it is, Rick Caruso, I know you’re a busy guy (with a Dodger’s bid and a potential mayoral run in the works), but I call on you to make it happen. I’ll make it easy and give you a name too: The AmeriGrove on 8th. Take it or leave it (the name, that is), but if you really want to endear yourself and your legacy to the next generation of Angelenos, you’ll realize that now is the time to invest in Downtown and this is the place. It has your name all over it.
Just, please, make the buildings face outwards.