There’s a new game in town, and that means more potential business for sports bars and restaurants that cater to hungry fans.

When the Los Angeles Rams kick off the regular season against the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 12 in Santa Clara, many football die-hards will likely flock to one of many downtown eateries, which typically cater to basketball and hockey fans, to secure a spot in front of a big screen to catch the game. And those businesses’ owners are hoping they’ll keep coming back.

Popular game-day gastropub Tom’s Urban at L.A. Live is expecting a large number of the 70,000 people who purchased season tickets for home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – and many who didn’t – to show up for happy-hour specials and watch Rams games on one of the restaurant’s 75 TV screens.

“We have a pretty loyal Sunday football crowd and we always play the sound for (National Football League) games,” said Paige Cram, director of marketing at Tom’s Urban L.A. Live. “We are excited to see what the Rams games will bring.”

Devoted out-of-towners are also generating business for Tom’s Urban before the season has even started.

“We’ve received a lot of inquiries from traveling NFL fans of the opposing teams to rent out our top-floor space for watch parties,” said Cram. “It’s clear the Rams are definitely bringing business to the area one way or another.”

Housing Blossoms

Blossom Plaza, an approximately $100 million mixed-use multifamily residential project in Chinatown, is finally complete after more than a decade in the making.

The complex is already more than 30 percent leased, according to Nathan Arnold, senior construction project manager at Cleveland’s Forest City, which developed the site.

The project was put on hold when the original developers filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Benchmark Contractors Inc., a subsidiary of Santa Monica’s Morley Builders Inc. that focuses on multifamily residences, broke ground in 2013.

The city of Los Angeles, CRA/LA, and investment group Chinatown Blossom Plaza also contributed money to the project, which was designed by architects at Johnson Fain and Togawa Smith Martin.

“Blossom Plaza ignites and promotes a vibrant and culturally rich pedestrian experience, while accommodating public neighborhood events,” Morley said in a press release.

The building’s facade is designed to reflect historic Chinese geometries combined with contemporary shapes and color panels, according to the developer.

The five-story building sits at the intersection of Broadway and College Street, just north of the Gold Line’s Chinatown station. Its 19,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor will include tenant East West Bank.

The complex has 237 residential units, 53 of which are set aside for low-income residents. Los Angeles County needs almost 550,000 more affordable units to meet its current demand, according to a May report by San Francisco-based nonprofit California Housing Partnership Corp.

Prices for the market-rate units at Blossom Plaza range from $1,830 for a studio to $2,870 for a two-bedroom apartment. Rent for the affordable units will fall between 30 percent and 60 percent of the area’s median income based on household. Those apartments will be filled by lottery, with the developer receiving more than 2,000 applications.

‘Pueblo’ Project

Past meets present in a new development that broke ground Aug. 3. Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis helped celebrate the start of construction on the 425,000-square-foot L.A. Plaza Village multipurpose project, which will feature 355 multifamily units – 20 percent of which are affordable housing units – and 43,700 square feet of retail. The project will also provide approximately 720 parking spaces and an extension of the existing historic pedestrian trail from Union Station to Olvera Street.

L.A. Plaza, also designed by Johnson Fain, will be located on a historic site adjacent to Union Station, Chinatown, El Pueblo, and City Hall. The development team, which includes High Street Residential, in partnership with Principal Real Estate Investors and the Cesar Chavez Foundation, is seeking LEED Certification.

The project is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

Staff reporters Kristin Marguerite Doidge and Caroline Anderson contributed to this column. #DTLA is compiled by Managing Editor Omar Shamout. He can be reached at oshamout@labusinessjournal.com.

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