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

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Bye, escalators

The California Market Center will get a Gensler-designed makeover.
Via Brookfield Properties

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 will be the removal of the two-story former bank building at the corner of Ninth and Main street. (The bank is still on the site now.)

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 Main will have a lot more space once that bank building is taken out.