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Clothier Splendid moving offices to historic industrial complex

September 02, 2012|By Roger Vincent
  • Alameda Square in downtown Los Angeles began as an industrial hub nearly a century ago.
Alameda Square in downtown Los Angeles began as an industrial hub nearly… (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles…)

VF Corp., one of the world’s largest apparel companies, will move the headquarters of its Splendid and Ella Moss clothing lines to a historic industrial complex in downtown Los Angeles.

The clothier agreed to lease 80,000 square feet in Alameda Square near the intersection of Alameda Street and Olympic Boulevard, said real estate broker John Zanetos of CBRE Group Inc. The 10-year deal is valued at about $18 million.

VF will convert raw warehouse space into offices in preparation for a move early next year. The lease marks the beginning of an effort by landlord Evoq Properties to renovate long-vacant industrial buildings in the 1.5-million-square-foot Alameda Square and convert them into offices for tenants in creative businesses, Zanetos said.

“Downtown really has become an attractive area for a younger and more collaborative work environment, with the residential population growing, access to public transportation and an amenity base that has just exploded in the past few years,” he said.

Alameda Square was one of the most ambitious private developments of early 20th century Los Angeles, connecting the city’s port with its downtown by rail. When the complex opened in the World War I era as Union Terminal Annex, it was the second-largest wholesale terminal in the world; only Bush Terminal in New York was larger, The Times reported.

More than 100 wholesale and manufacturing firms conducted their entire businesses there, and such giants as B.F. Goodrich Rubber Co. and Owl Drug Co. had large-scale operations on site. It had a bank, a hotel, a barber shop and restaurants. The vast majority of produce business for the region was conducted there.

Recent generations of Angelenos may recall the property as the former facility for food company S.E. Rykoff & Co. Two of the four large remaining buildings are occupied by clothing manufacturer American Apparel Inc.


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