Brookfield, a New York-based office giant that has already made its presence felt in Downtown L.A., has recently acquired a controlling interest in the Fashion District’s California Market Center in a deal valued at $440 million. The three-building 1.8 million-square-foot mart fetched nearly four times the price it sold for back in 2004, when Jamison bought the complex for $135 million.
Jaime Lee, Jamison’s chief executive office, told the Los Angeles Business Journal about the company’s recurring discussion on the future of the currently half-leased CMC, before its decision to enter into a joint venture with Brookfield. Since its opening in 1963, CMC’s trio of interconnected buildings, home to over 1,000 showrooms, has been focused on serving fashion and apparel tenants and events. Jamison’s new partner is looking to change that, shifting focus to creative users that they hope they can attract by offering them an alternative to the more corporate settings of Bunker Hill high-rises.
The complex is also well-placed to profit from other recent developments in the area, as it sits amid housing projects like the 7th & Maple and the Broadway Palace. Overall, the CMC deal signals a larger trend in Los Angeles commercial real estate, with the expansion of new developments and conversions into the emerging Arts and Fashion District.
Brookfield plans to turn the site into a mixed-use complex: some of the showrooms will remain as ground-level retail spaces while the rest of the building will be converted into Class A office space. The project is expected to be delivered by 2019.