Brookfield embarks on $170M makeover at California Market Center

The company has been planning a renovation since last year

Bert Dezzutti and a rendering of the California Market Center renovation
Bert Dezzutti and a rendering of the California Market Center renovation

Brookfield Properties will pour $170 million into rehabilitating the historic California Market Center, a bulky 1.8 million-square-foot showroom in the heart of where Downtown L.A. meets the Fashion District.

CMC, once a haven for fashion merchandisers, has been struggling amid the rise of online shopping and changing consumer preferences. The property, at 110 E. 9th Street, is currently less than 50 percent leased.

As part of the overhaul, Brookfield will replace the building’s facade with floor-to-ceiling windows. There will also be new bridges linking the three interconnected buildings, as well as several outdoor decks replete with lush landscaping.

Gensler is designing the remodel, which will include 150,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and restaurants by the time it is completed in 2020.

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A rendering of the California Market Center renovation

The Los Angeles Times first reported the news.

The office landlord acquired a controlling interest in the sprawling apparel showroom in June 2017 in a deal that valued the property at nearly $440 million. Jamison, which paid $135 million for the site in 2004, retains a stake in the center.

Brookfield announced it would be repositioning the asset at the time of the deal, though details regarding the renovation remained scant.

Nearby, a developer has been attempting to repurpose another fashion and furniture showroom. The 9.7-acre site, known as the Reef, has been the subject of much debate in recent years as PHR LA Mart, the owner, secured approvals to transform the property into a mixed-use development with a hotel, condo units, apartments and retail.