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DTLA's Neglected Broadway Trade Center Is Getting A Glamorous Revamp

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Broadway Trade Center (Photo by HunterKerhart.com via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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Changes are brewing in downtown L.A.'s historic Broadway Corridor. On the heels of a huge Night on Broadway block party last weekend that allowed folks to explore the historic and gorgeous theaters, as well as the addition of the Ace Hotel, Umami Burger and Urban Outfitters over the last few years, it's now Broadway Trade Center's turn to get the spotlight. After some speculation, we now have a better idea of what's in store for the massive, century-old building that's been mostly neglected over last few decades.

The owners divulged to the L.A. Times that they're planning on renovating the historic structure to basically become its own fancy mega-community. In addition to housing a hotel, they plan on opening office spaces, a gigantic shopping center (with hopes to get upscale retailers like Tiffany and Louis Vuitton), rooftop bars and restaurants, two swimming pools, a park, an urban farm, a spa with a Turkish bath, and a two-story food hall similar to Chelsea Market in New York.

In its heyday, the glamorous Broadway Trade Center housed the May Co. department store. Up until last year when developers bought the expansive 1.1-million square foot structure on Hill and 8th streets, the building, which was built in 1908, had been used for garment manufacturers and small vendors. Recently, we've been hearing rumors like Apple, Inc. wanting to open their campus there or that Gucci eying the space to open their new store.

Joel Schreiber, the chief executive Waterbridge Capital, the company that bought the building, told the Times that their revamp of the building could "help change the neighborhood" by bringing more foot-traffic and liveliness into the area.

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This might take some time though since the plans needs to all be approved by the city first. If anything, it's exciting to see underutilized buildings in downtown get a second chance.