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Industrial Alameda Square to be renovated, stylized into fashion-focused retail center

By Hayley Fox
Published: Monday, April 15, 2013, at 11:04AM
rendering courtesy of Creative Space

Plans for the new Alameda Square include making it more accessible to the public with retail opportunities and green space.



Best known for hosting American Apparel's factory and warehouse, Downtown's Alameda Square is poised for massive renovations.

Evoq Properties, owner of the 1.4 million-square-foot industrial compound, has hired branding experts and designers to transform the space into a more accessible, hip retail center.

Lead architect on the project, Joey Shimoda, is known for commercial projects for MTV Networks and Bad Robot, while branding expert Matthew Foster has worked on the uber-hip Ace Hotel. The project will be overseen by Arts District-based real estate firm, Creative Space.

“Alameda Square is one of the largest industrial complexes in Los Angeles with deep roots in the city’s produce industry and more recently the fashion/apparel world," said Tyler Stonebreaker, co-founder of Creative Space. "Our goal is to broaden its footprint and appeal to both local and global fashion/apparel companies while simultaneously bringing fresh perspective to the historic produce market on the western portion of the 32-acre campus.”

Designers say that although the campus is primarily a manufacturing center, they aim to make it more enticing to the public through special events and open air retail.

Built in the early 1900s, Alameda Square is made up of four different buildings. The campus has gone through multiple transformations in it's approximately 100-year history, from its roots as a railroad terminal to a food manufacturing plant and now, apparel factory.

The development team plans to incorporate this history into the campus' new design.

“My goal is to create a mixture of classic and historic masculinity that reflects Alameda Square’s railroad and warehouse origins balanced with the bright, irreverence and playfulness of grocery, produce and fashion,” said Foster in a statement.

The Architect's Newspaper (AN) provides additional details about the renovation, which includes the installation of a public green space, a massive parking structure, a plastic-clad tent containing retail stalls and a succession of shipping containers to sell retail out of as well.

AN adds: "Currently there are plans for up to 126,000 square feet of retail on the site—including fashion retailers, restaurants, and food trucks—but the exact uses will only become clear after the space has been used for a while and nodes of interest are determined."

In addition to American Apparel, Alameda Square tenants include Groceries Apparel, Splendid and Ella Moss. Stonebreaker said that all of these businesses have agreed to stay during renovations and are looking forward to the changes.

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