Mega-Reuse Project Moves Forward in LA

HFF worked on behalf of Atlas Capital and Square Mile to orchestrate a partial sale and refinancing for Row DTLA, a 1.8 million-square-foot redevelopment of a former industrial site in the Arts District.

HFF recently completed two very different—but very big—deals at Row DTLA, the 1.8 million-square-foot adaptive reuse development in downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District. Acting on behalf of owners Atlas Capital Group LLC and an institutional investment partnership managed by Square Mile Capital Management LLC, the commercial real estate and capital markets services provider orchestrated the sale of a 37.5 percent stake in the 32-acre property and arranged refinancing to the tune of $475 million.

Row DTLA
Row DTLA

Formerly the site of a historic industrial center known as Alameda Square at 7th and Alameda streets, Row DTLA is the largest contiguous block of land in downtown, comprising eight century-old buildings erected by Southern Pacific Railroad to serve as the Los Angeles Terminal Market. At the hands of Atlas Capital and Square Mile, the site is being reinvented as a trendy mixed-use destination that will ultimately feature 1.4 million square feet of creative office space and more than 230,000 square feet of retail and restaurant offerings, including a 100-year-old produce market. “With its rich history and wide variety of integrated uses onsite, Row DTLA will be one of Los Angeles’ can’t miss destinations similar to places such as the Meatpacking District in New York,” Doug Bond, senior managing director with HFF, said in a prepared statement.”

HFF organized an equity recapitalization allowing Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan to purchase the minority stake in Row DTLA alongside the existing ownership. And the firm landed the half-billion-dollar refinancing, which came in the form of a three-year floating-rate loan, through Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies.

ROW DTLA IS STAYING ON TRACK

With a new partner on board and fresh financing in hand, Row DTLA’s ownership is well equipped to advance the transformation of the one-time rail center. The project is already attracting its share of attention among users. Among the bevy of businesses to make commitments are, as reported in a WWD article earlier this year, fashion retailer J Brand, which signed on for 29,000 square feet of space for its new headquarters; digital media firm Mitu; streetwear retailer Bodega, now scheduled to debut in 8,000 square feet in September; boxing studio Shadowbox; and the list goes on.

Playing a role in keeping Row DTLA chugging along is familiar territory for HFF. In 2013, acting on behalf of then-owner EVOQ Properties Inc.—which was acquired by Atlas Capital, Square Mile and USAA Real Estate Co. the following year—the firm arranged $78 million in financing, a portion of which was utilized to fund renovations for new tenants.

“The extraordinary vision of the Atlas team and its partners has led to the creation of one of Los Angeles’ iconic assets that will be a destination for tenants, customers and tourists for years to come,” Paul Brindley, senior managing director with HFF, said in prepared remarks.