Brookfield to Upgrade California Market Center

Brookfield’s investment and partnership in the California Market Center at 110 W. Ninth St. will turn a portion of the complex into Class A office space. 

One of Downtown’s most powerful property owners is about to undertake a transformation of one of Downtown’s largest properties.

Brookfield Office Properties today announced plans to overhaul the California Market Center, a three-building Fashion District complex housing more than 1,000 wholesale showrooms. The project is a joint venture between Brookfield and Jamison Properties, which bought the complex for $135 million in 2004.

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A Brookfield representative would not reveal how much the company is investing in the property.

Plans call for turning the site at 110 W. Ninth St. into a mixed-use project. A portion of the 1.8 million-square-foot complex will become new Class A office space.

In addition, the ground-level space on Main and Ninth streets will serve as retail, and Brookfield said there would be some level of programming to activate the sidewalks. The company’s Arts Brookfield program stages events and public art displays at different properties in Downtown.

The California Market Center was developed by the Morse family and opened in 1963. The complex, made up of three 13-story buildings, occupies the entire block bounded by Main, Ninth and Los Angeles streets and Olympic Boulevard.

“Drawing wholesalers and trade events from across the region, the California Market Center — which now stands at the epicenter of Downtown Los Angeles’ rising 24/7 live-work business district — has a long and impressive history of promoting commerce and creativity in the heart of our city,” said Bert Dezzutti, Brookfield’s executive vice president for its Western region’s office properties.

Brookfield plans to maintain the market’s wholesale fashion component to some degree, though specifics were not revealed.

Brookfield owns, manages or leases 8.6 million square feet of space in Downtown. Its holdings include FIGat7th complex, Bank of America Plaza and the Wells Fargo Center.

Work on the upgrades is scheduled to begin this summer and finish in 2019.

nicholas@downtownnews.com