Midtown Shopping Center to see improvements after land sale

The owner of a mid-Los Angeles shopping center that was destroyed by rioters in the 1990s and then rebuilt has acquired more land and seeks to expand and upgrade the mall.

Plans call for making the Midtown Shopping Center a more family-friendly meeting place, partner James Young said, with extensive pedestrian walkways, seating areas and outdoor dining.

“I always thought that given the time and right attention this would be a first-class area,” Young said, “so I rebuilt.”


Major tenants now include a Ralphs supermarket, a CVS pharmacy, Orchard Supply Hardware and Bank of America. Potential tenants for Young’s planned additions include family “sit-down” restaurants and a fitness center, he said.

Midtown Shopping Center Associates bought the land it had been leasing under the shopping center plus two adjacent properties for $42.5 million from Catellus Development Corp.

The investment group that bought the 14.5-acre property bounded by Venice, San Vicente and Pico boulevards includes Young Management Co., which will manage and redevelop the shopping center.

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This transaction gives his group ownership of the land under the buildings they own as well as 3.5 additional acres that are on the eastern and western edges of the site. Young said that he has tried to buy the land since 1978 and that he rebuilt the center after the 1992 riots because he thought the neighborhood would recover its luster.

The Mid-City intersection of three of the city’s busiest boulevards is catching on as an increasingly popular retail destination. The center is across San Vicente from Midtown Crossing, a recently completed shopping center anchored by a Lowe’s home improvement store. Ross Dress for Less is expected to open a branch there this summer.

“Retailers like to pioneer and like to cluster,” property broker Timothy Bower of CBRE Group Inc. said. “The confluence of all those streets there really makes it a natural for development.”


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