One year after buying the immense California Market Center (CMC) in Downtown Los Angeles, Brookfield has unveiled plans for a $170-million overhaul of the 1.85-million-square-foot complex.

Built over 50 years ago on a city block bounded by Olympic Boulevard, 9th Street, Main Street, and Los Angeles Street, the three buildings of CMC have long served as a hub of the wholesale apparel industry, and is billed as one of its West Coast hubs.  Brookfield has tapped architecture firm Gensler to modernize and open the brutalist complex to the street.

Planned improvements include:

  • recladding the building's facade with floor-to-ceiling glass windows;
  • adding skybridges to connect all floors between the three buildings;
  • the construction of a 5,000-square-foot rooftop amenity space for tenants;
  • the removal of a two-story retail structure at 9th and Main to create a 13,700-square-foot landscaped plaza with space for outdoor events; and
  • adding "fashion-focused" building amenities.

In addition to new open space, CMC's fortress-like ground level will be made more inviting to pedestrians through the creation of 150,000 square feet of retail space, with room for outdoor seating and dining.

While much of the property will serve as office space, Brookfield's plan will continue to emphasize CMC's importance to the fashion industry.  Going forward, the bulk of the property's fashion tenants will be concentrated into Building C, which will be improved with polished concrete floors and open concept spaces.

Construction for the CMC renovation is already underway, and is expected to be carried out in two phases. Completion is anticipated in 2020.

Brookfield purchased a majority stake in CMC in 2017 for a reported price of $440 million.  The seller - prominent local landlord Jamison Services, Inc. - retained a minority stake in the property, and is planning to convert an adjoining building into a hotel.

Since acquiring the portfolio of defunct MPG Office Trust in 2013, Brookfield has emerged as the largest office landlord in Downtown Los Angeles.  The company has since invested in renovations to some of its trophy assets, highlighted by a $60-million amenity center now under construction at the Wells Fargo Center.  Brookfield is also pursuing the development of a high-rise residential tower on a vacant lot abutting the Figat7th shopping mall.