Former Woolworth’s store in downtown L.A. set to sell at auction

Bidding will start at $4 million when the former Woolworth's store on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles, now home to Ross Dress for Less, is sold at auction next month.

Remember five-and-dime stores? Ever want to own one?

The former F.W. Woolworth Co. store on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles will be sold at auction on March 10. Bidding will start at $4 million, broker said.

The four-story building in the heart of Broadway’s historic district dates to the early 1920s. Woolworth’s, as it was commonly known, was one of the largest store chains in the world for most of the 20th century.

Woolworth’s were discount stores, selling a wide range of goods at low prices. In photographs from the 1940s and 1950s, the Broadway store can be seen on a busy street choked with trolley cars, delivery trucks and pedestrians. It stood next to Leed’s shoe store, which is now home to a business called Family Pants.


The Woolworth chain went out of business in 1997. After sitting vacant for years, the 76,000-square-foot building was reopened last year as an outpost of clothing discounter Ross Dress For Less. Parent company Ross Stores Inc. has a long-term lease for the store at 719-725 S. Broadway.

The property was renovated in 2011 as part of the “Bringing Back Broadway” initiative, a public-private partnership aimed at restoring the street’s historic theater district. Other prominent retailers have recently opened on Broadway including Acne Studios, Urban Outfitters and the Ace Hotel.

The Woolworth building renovation included an interior update to restore its Art Deco style. Two grand staircases, covered in their original terrazzo, connect the first floor with the basement.

Bidders must register online, put down a $50,000 deposit and show proof that they can fund a purchase.


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