J Brand, MiTu & others ink 50K sf of new deals at the Row

Developers are nabbing smaller, trendier retailers for Arts District

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The developers of the Row closed on 50,000 square feet of new boutique retail and office leases at the adaptive re-use project, they told The Real Deal.

New office tenants who’ve signed on the dotted line include J Brand, the jeans retailer, which has inked a deal for 29,000 square feet of space inside a two-story industrialized warehouse space at the site, and MiTu, a new Latino-focused media brand, which is taking 13,000 square feet of space.

New retail tenants include Vrai & Oro, a jewelry brand taking 661 square feet; Gossamer, a vintage store taking 2,002 square feet; Ahelm, an eyewear company taking 656 square feet; Flask & Field, a wine a lifestyle shop taking 1,200 square feet; and Shadowbox, a boxing studio taking 4,000 square feet.

Representatives for the developers, Atlas Capital Group and Square Mile Capital Management in partnership with USAA Real Estate Company, declined to be interviewed about their next move, but sources said the companies are floating their recent gets in order to drum up more interest for the project in the new year.

The Row is currently the largest adaptive re-use project in Los Angeles and comprises the transformation of six structures originally built by the Southern Pacific Railroad in the 1920s into loft-style workspaces. Asking rents at the complex were not immediately available.

Industry insiders said the project, which is on the border of the Arts District, has been the cause of much speculation, since it’s located in a neighborhood traditionally spurned by high-end retailers.“That project is located on the cusp of what used to be a really bad area but it now seems to be changing,” said Gabe Kadosh of Colliers International, who was not involved in the deals.

Runyon, the real estate company heading up the lease up of the project, has employed similar strategy at projects such as the Platform in Culver City, signing up small, trendy companies who deal in artisanal goods and services without large scale name recognition. Platform has, among other things, a pop-up Blue Bottle. Ratkovich, the company behind the Bloc in DTLA, first attempted a similar curation strategy at that project but with less success.