LOS ANGELES - CIM Group, along with city, community and business leaders, celebrated the start of construction today on Midtown Plaza, a 390,000-square-foot urban retail center in the heart of Los Angeles. Guests were treated to a martial arts demonstration concluding with the crack of a board breaking to symbolize the beginning of demolition at the site. The long awaited project will meet the needs of a large population that is currently underserved.
"This is a rare opportunity to bring much needed retail to Los Angeles' urban core. Residents in the area currently travel miles to find the shopping options that most of us take for granted," stated Avi Shemesh, principal and co-founder of CIM Group. "We're bringing a variety of community serving retailers to this neighborhood and transforming a large property that has been an eyesore for decades."
CIM Group purchased the property last year and is delivering a retail center that previous development teams had undertaken but were unable to bring to completion. Set on almost 12 acres at the corner of San Vicente Blvd . and Pico Blvd., Midtown Plaza is a $114 million development that will bring a Home Depot along with other major national retailers and smaller shops to the area. It is one of the largest properties zoned for commercial use north of the 10 Freeway and west of the 110 Freeway.
"The groundbreaking of Midtown Plaza represents an historic moment for the Tenth District, bringing much needed jobs and retail services to the area," observed Los Angeles City Councilman Martin Ludlow. "The coordinated efforts of my office, the Community Development Department, the CRA and the developer have made this project a reality after many years of false starts and failed efforts."
Midtown Plaza offers an interesting design with stacked uses taking advantage of the different elevations on the site. The Venice Blvd. frontage on the south side, which is higher, will offer a 148,000-square-foot space for a major retailer along with 18,000 square feet of in-line shops to house smaller retailers. At the lower level along Pico Blvd. shoppers will find a 105,000-square -foot Home Depot with a 24,000-square-foot garden center. In addition, a modern MTA bus terminal will be incorporated into the site at the Pico and San Vicente corner with 11 berths surrounded by 15,000 square feet of street front retail. The new terminal will replace the existing facility currently mid-block on Pico Blvd. Between the two levels will be a mezzanine with 80,000 square feet of space for retail or commercial use and structured parking. Combined surface and structured parking will provide 1,400 spaces.
"This is a catalytic and priority project for the Community Redevelopment Agency and for the Mid-City community. When we made this a redevelopment area in 1996, we envisioned a revitalized community with a strong retail and commercial base. With Midtown Plaza, we will have tax and revenue-generating businesses that will bring 800 new permanent jobs to the community and create modern, attractive amenities for the residents," said Paul Hudson, Chairman of the Community Redevelopment Agency, which has provided $4.3 million in tax allocation bond financing for the project.
Designed by Perkowitz & Ruth, general contractor Rudolph and Sletten is targeting completion of Midtown Plaza for the second quarter of 2006.
CIM Group is a full service real estate investor and operator organized in 1994 to revitalize districts of high population density, including the traditional downtown areas within large cities and the main street districts within towns and suburban cities. A leader in California's urban renaissance, CIM Group has contributed to California's urban fabric through its real estate investments that comprise a premier portfolio of street retail, housing and office properties in California's most popular destinations, including Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade, Old Pasadena, Birch Street in Brea, Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood Blvd., San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter and San Jose's Downtown. Each CIM Group investment adapts proven land use and design principles of great urban districts to the unique strengths of the location and the needs of the community.