Is DTLA’s Broadway district the next streetwear hub?

The area was once famous for its renowned theaters

(Credit: Getty Images)
(Credit: Getty Images)

Just last year, rapper Kanye West revealed that each pair of Yeezy’s produced in a run of 40,000 pairs had sold out in under two minutes. And it’s not the only sneaker with a cult-like following — for brands like Nike and Adidas, the sneakerhead fan base is a significant one.

Retailers are increasingly betting that Downtown L.A.’s Broadway district cold be the next mecca for the shoe-obsessed. Costa-Mesa based Vans, famous for its surf and skating-inspired footwear, will open its flagship store at 806 S. Broadway at the historic Singer Sewing Building in mid-2018. It will join Sheikh Shoes located at 745 S. Broadway, Footaction at 749 S. Broadway and Foot Locker’s flagship Jordan Brand store at 620 S. Broadway – also known as the former Schaber’s Cafeteria, Downtown News reported.

It’s common for retailers to follow one another once they see a store is performing well, brokers say.

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“Once one retailer in a particular category has done the due diligence and confirmed a location, and more importantly the performance numbers show they are indeed generating sales, then other retailers follow,” Avison Young principal Derrick Moore told Downtown News.

Increased competition might also be leading the retailers to set themselves up as “destination stores,” often hosting special events or features in addition to selling shoes. The Footaction store on Broadway offers a Nike Kicks Lounge, while the Jordan store will have both a basketball court and fitness room on-site.

The trend is reflective of a larger movement headed to the high-foot traffic stretch, known for lower-end retail. Just last week, news broke that a fashion start-up that has yet to launch will soon be the next tenant of the Million Dollar Theatre at 307 S. Broadway. The property was traded as part of a larger portfolio deal including the iconic Grand Central Market. [DTN] – Natalie Hoberman