53-story residential tower planned for The Bloc in DTLA

Latest chapter would bring 466 units to recently renovated commercial center at 7th & Flower

The residential tower at The Bloc at 7th and Flower streets will feature 466 units (LoopNet, iStock)
The residential tower at The Bloc at 7th and Flower streets will feature 466 units (LoopNet, iStock)

A national real estate investment firm and developer has proposed adding a 53-story residential tower to one of Downtown L.A.’s best known commercial centers.

National Real Estate Advisors, a Washington D.C.-based company with a subsidiary in Los Angeles, has filed plans to construct a 41-story, 466-unit residential tower at The Bloc at 7th and Flower streets.

The project would add a significant residential component to the already large, mixed-use commercial complex. The Bloc has long been home to L.A.’s flagship Macy’s and other stores, as well as upper-floor offices. It also currently houses various other retailers and service providers, ranging from Uniqlo to LA FItness, several restaurants, an Alamo Drafthouse cinema and Sheraton hotel.

The latest plans call for the 495,000 square-foot residential complex to be built atop an existing 12-story structure. The project would also add two new parking levels.

The residential units would represent another chapter for the complex, which fills an entire city block. It was built in the early 1970s and originally known as Broadway Plaza–for the now-defunct department store, not the nearby thoroughfare. It took the Macy’s Plaza name in the 1990s, when it featured a fully enclosed mall anchored by the New York-based retailer.

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A transformation into an open-air shopping center came around 2015, with developer Wayne Ratkovich leading a $180 million renovation that connected the property to the 7th Street/Metro Center light-rail station.

The renovation was lauded as part of central L.A.’s urban transformation; at the time former and City Councilman Jose Huizar, who is currently awaiting trial on charges of public corruption, declared it would “fundamentally change the shopping experience” of Downtown L.A., the Los Angeles Times reported.

According to records, an entity tied to National Real Estate Advisors bought the site for $50 million in 2013. The firm has residential, commercial and industrial projects throughout the country, including in New York, Boston and the Bay Area.

Some analysts predict Downtown L.A. will remain among the county’s hottest areas for residential construction. In recent weeks one developer proposed a 34-story complex on South Hope Street, and another filed plans for a 19-story build on Olive Street.

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