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A Downtown Wal-Mart?

By Eric Richardson
Published: Sunday, December 04, 2005, at 02:59PM

The LA Business Journal is reporting that the Orthopaedic Hospital is in discussions to sell part of its Downtown site to Rothbart Development (annoying sign-up required), a company "known for building shopping centers that are anchored by Wal-Marts." The 9-acres for sale are on the Adams end of the site.

A Rothbart executive confirmed that the company has teamed up with Santa Monica-based housing developer Martin Group Inc. to buy the property. The two firms are planning a mixed-use development that incorporates big box retail and high-density multifamily housing.

"We do not have a particular anchor lined up for the project, but we are talking to several big box retailers," said Lindsey Kozberg, vice president of development for Rothbart. "There has been a lot of interest."

I find it interesting to note this in context with recent articles talking about Wal-Mart's new urbanist designs (via Boi From Troy. This will be an important location, with an Expo light rail station going in right across the property at Flower/23rd. Other "interested" retailers are said to include Target, Costco and Home Depot. I'd have trouble seeing Home Depot there, with another store less than three miles away at Wilshire and Union. The others, though, I think would get good reach from the direct freeway access.

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