Forever 21 leases 164K sf for new HQ

California Market Center location to include training store

Forever 21 CEO Winnie Park and the California Market Center, 110 East 9th Street (Forever 21, CMCDTLA)
Forever 21 CEO Winnie Park and the California Market Center, 110 East 9th Street (Forever 21, CMCDTLA)

Apparel firm Forever 21 will soon move its headquarters from Lincoln Heights to Downtown Los Angeles.

Sparc Group, the parent company of the Los Angeles-based apparel retailer, has signed a lease for 164,000 square feet of office space at the California Market Center at 110 East 9th Street, Urbanize Los Angeles reported.

The pending move, first reported by CoStar in January, was inked by Brookfield Properties, landlord of the 1.8 million-square-foot trio of 13-story buildings in the Fashion District.

The new space will house Forever 21’s headquarters, as well as West Coast employees for Lucky Brand.

“The new CMC has been reimagined to appeal not just to fashion-focused commerce but also to creatives from the technology, entertainment and media industries,” said Brookfield Properties executive vice president Bert Dezzutti, in a statement.

Sparc said it will use the property to house a mock store for training employees, and to provide studios for product photography and multimedia.

“We were in search of a ‘forever home’ to consolidate Forever 21’s headquarters and Lucky Brand’s West Coast offices,” said Marc Miller, CEO for Sparc Group. “Between the large open and efficient floor plates and a centralized location as well as an incredible history anchoring the West Coast fashion industry, CMC was a perfect fit for us.”

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

California Market Center recently finished a $250 million renovation. Other tenants include Adidas, which leased 107,000 square feet of space early this year. Two years ago, the renovation was pegged at $170 million.

The massive space is dedicated to fashion showrooms and event space for Los Angeles’ wholesale apparel industry. Brookfield, which started the renovation in 2018, has replaced the building’s facade with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Based in New York, Brookfield Properties acquired a controlling interest in the sprawling market in June 2017, in a deal that valued the property at nearly $440 million. The financier is also part owner of Forever 21.

Prior to declaring bankruptcy in 2019, Forever 21 had its headquarters and distribution operations housed in the same property at 3880 North Mission Road in Lincoln Heights. It still lists the address as its corporate hub.

In February 2020, a bankruptcy court judge approved the fashion retailer’s sale to a trio of investors – including Authentic Brands Group, Simon Property Group and Brookfield Properties – for $81 million. The Sparc Group – which also owns such brands as Brooks Brothers, Lucky Brand, Nautica, Reebok and Eddie Bauer – is a joint venture of mall REIT Simon Property Group and brand conglomerate Authentic Brands Group.

Fast-fashion expert Daniel Kulle was then named CEO at Forever 21. But with Kulle’s abrupt departure in January, Winnie Park, the top executive for Paper Source, was named CEO.

– Dana Bartholomew

Read more