A big, new, nationally-recognized food hall is coming to Downtown LA’s California Market Center in the Fashion District. Urbanspace, known for its wide array of tenants and locations across New York City, will take up a large corner of the existing California Market Center following a broad redesign of the property at 9th and Main.
For those unfamiliar: Urbanspace is a New York City staple, with food and retail locations across the city (including a newer outpost slated for that city’s Financial District). Tenants and operators vary by address, but the general focus is on a mix of well-known local and national brands, with an eye towards what each area might be lacking. The group has also pushed in recent years into Washington D.C. and Chicago using the same model.
The indoor-outdoor redesign of the California Market Center will allow for 15,000 square feet of food and retail stalls under the Urbanspace umbrella, along with a plaza for public open-air events. So far 19 tenants are expected at the property, which will ultimately grow to also include rooftop decks, a full-service standalone restaurant elsewhere, and creative offices and showrooms.
Perhaps most interestingly, this new Urbanspace LA location is among the first food halls to be announced at this stage of the pandemic, with vaccinations for children beginning and much of the retail and food sector having somewhat picked back up financially (though that’s to say nothing of labor shortages, increased prices for wholesale goods, supply chain demands, and much, much more). There was a time in Los Angeles that food halls were seen as a future of sorts for small businesses and diners eager for culinary diversity, with everyone happy to crowd into open spaces shoulder-to-shoulder to eat, buy, and walk around. It’s unclear how many outstanding food hall projects promised pre-pandemic will end up coming to fruition at this point, particularly as ghost kitchens and delivery concepts continue to grow market share.
The news is also good for Downtown overall, which has struggled to recover its foot traffic and many of its businesses at this stage of the pandemic. Brookfield Properties, owner of California Market Center, is betting that offices (and Downtown at large) return in a big way, particularly in this area that has recently seen the arrival of new hotels and dining options including Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s Caldo Verde at the Proper Hotel on Broadway. Look for the new Urbanspace to open at California Market Center sometime in late 2022.