A British real estate development firm with a penchant for restoring historic buildings is plying its trade in Downtown Los Angeles.
Satila Studios, owned by brothers Ted and Oliver Grebelius, have purchased a historic Barker Brothers building at 722 S. Broadway in the Historic Core. The low-rise structure, built in 1909 by socialite and real estate investor Clara Burdette, was the largest store in the Barker Brothers chain at the time of its completion.
Satila Studios has commenced work on a retrofit of the 110-year-old building, which is being rebranded as the Barker. Plans call for approximately 46,000 square feet of commercial office on the upper floors of the building and approximately 11,000 square feet of street-facing retail.
Plans call for loft-style spaces on the Barker's six office levels, taking advantage of the building's original brick walls, steel beams, and wood floors. Each floor would offer approximately 8,000 square feet of rentable space.
The building's ground-floor and mezzanine space, originally a furniture showroom, is imagined as a flagship-type retail space. Plans for restoring the former showroom’s signature element - a grand angel-winged staircases - flanked by wooden columns and archways.
Satila plans to convert the Barker's basement into an amenity space for residents, replete with a bathhouse and an exercise studio.
The brothers also hope to activate the building's alley way with a cafe or other use, and have engaged in discussions with neighboring property owners on potential collaborations.
The Barker is currently on pace for occupancy in 2021.
The trend of historic restoration is visible down the Broadway corridor, with more than a half-dozen buildings currently undergoing upgrades to serve as modern office space.
Next door at 720 S. Broadway, the six-story Parmalee Building underwent its own restoration in 2017.
The office projects are joined by the arrival of several notable retailers to the Broadway corridor, including Apple's highly-anticipated store at the historic Tower Theatre.
- Downtown Los Angeles (Urbanize LA)