Newsmaker: Brookfield Properties Begins a $170-Million Upgrade of the California Market Center

More than one year after Brookfield Properties acquired a controlling interest in the California Market Center, the real estate–development company announced in November it would invest $170 million to transform the showroom and office complex into a mixed-use creative space and fashion-industry campus. The three interconnected 13-story buildings and two-story bank building in the courtyard have served as the central resource for downtown Los Angeles’ Fashion District since the first building went up in the 1960s.

Leading the remodel is Gensler, a San Francisco architecture-and-design firm.

The three taller buildings will receive energy-efficient floor-to-ceiling glass windows, sunlit skybridges that will connect every floor between the structures, a 5,000-square-foot rooftop tenant amenity space and fashion-focused building amenities. The bank building, also known as the Pad Building, will be razed, yielding 13,700 square feet of privately owned public space.

Many in the apparel industry felt a major renovation was on the horizon. Since last year, Brookfield Properties has been making gradual improvements to the building on a smaller scale such as its approach to its on-site events. In March, the CMC launched its Label Array trade show, which took place on the penthouse level during Los Angeles Market Week.

Other new initiatives included fresh features during the October installment of the L.A. Textile show. Brookfield Properties hosted an art installation created by Rafael de los Santos and Anna Victor, who used Malhia Kent weavings, which hung in the lobby where visitors enjoyed a marketplace that showcased artisan-quality goods.

The Oct. 3–5 show also saw the launch of The Future of Fashion conference on Oct. 3, which put the spotlight on ethical fashion, and the Sustainable Fashion Forum on Oct. 4.

Work on the CMC has begun with Building C, where most of the fashion tenants will be housed in the future. There will be a two-phase renovation of the 1.8-million-square-foot complex, scheduled to be completed by 2020.