New Shared Workspace Going to The Bloc in DTLA

For those who like to be able to shop in the same space where they work, then a new co-workspace at The Bloc in downtown Los Angeles might just be the place.

Carr Workplaces is taking over 24,000 square feet in the 33-story office building that is part of The Bloc shopping center, which is still filling in after a $180-million renovation finished up a few years ago.

The retail section is about 90 percent leased, said Jeffrey Kanne, president and chief executive of National Real Estate Advisors, owner of The Bloc.

New to the 1.8-million-square-foot shopping center since the renovation is Uni­qlo, Nordstrom Local and lifestyle store Brandswalk. Handcrafted LA, a store that stocked merchandise made in Los Angeles, recently moved out of the shopping center.

This is the first Los Angeles location for Carr Workplaces, which has two sites in Orange County and one in San Francisco as well as several locations on the East Coast.

The space, which will have desks, offices and conference rooms that can be rented on a temporary basis, will open in June. “We are thrilled to open our 27th location,” said Austin Flajser, president of Carr Workplaces. “The Bloc in downtown L.A. offers best-in-class amenities and programming to its tenants, to which we will add.”

After The Bloc was acquired in 2013 for $231 million by National Real Estate Advisors with The Ratkovich Co. and Blue Vista Capital Management, the closed-in mall underwent a dramatic renovation. The roof over the plaza area was removed and a new open-air plaza with patio furniture and faux grass was installed so it can double as an events space. The Macy’s store got an updated look and new stores moved in. An entrance from the mall was also constructed to connect with the 7th Street Metro station. Later this year, an Alamo Drafthouse movie theater is expected to open by May or June.

The shopping center barely resembles its old format, which had a dark interior. Originally built in 1973 and designed by architect Charles Luckman, it was called Broadway Plaza, which was anchored by a Broadway department store, which later became Macy’s.

Last year, The Ratkovich Co. sold its stake in the project to National Real Estate Advisors.

“We have created a premium, cutting-edge office environment at The Bloc that should enhance the overall work experience for Carr Workplaces’ clients,” Kanne said.

Carr Workplaces is not new to the shopping-center scene. More than 10 years ago it teamed up with the Irvine Spectrum Center in Irvine, Calif., to open a shared workspace in an adjoining 15-story office building to the shopping mall with more than 130 stores and a Ferris wheel.