Despite lingering questions over the fate of downtown’s office market, at least one tenant is betting big on the area: SPARC Group. The company, which counts Aéropostale, Brooks Brothers, Nautica, Eddie Bauer, Forever 21, Lucky Brand and Reebok among its brands, has signed a lease for 164,000 square feet at Brookfield Properties’ California Market Center.
CBRE Group Inc.’s John Zanetos, Ken Meyerson, Remy DeVarenne, Zachary Weil and Kelli Snyder represented SPARC Group in the lease. CBRE’s Rob Waller, Patrick Amos and Phil Ruhl and the in-house team of John Barganski and Ian Gilbert represented Brookfield in the lease.
The lease covers more than two full office floors. SPARC will also create a mock store to train employees, as well as studio space for photography and multimedia needs. It will house Forever 21’s headquarters and West Coast Lucky Brand employees.
“We were in search of a ‘forever home’ to consolidate Forever 21’s headquarters and Lucky Brand’s West Coast offices,” SPARC Group’s Chief Executive Officer Marc Miller said in a statement. “Between the large open and efficient floor plates and a centralized location, as well as an incredible history anchoring the west coast fashion industry, CMC was a perfect fit for us.”
SPARC Group acquired Forever 21 for $81 million in February 2020. SPARC is owned by Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc. and New York-based Authentic Brands Group.
Brookfield began renovating California Market Center, or CMC, in 2018 with help from San Francisco-based Gensler and New York City-based Turner Construction Co. CMC spans an entire city block bound by 9th Street, Main Street, Olympic Boulevard and Los Angeles Street.
The overhaul included the demolition of a former bank building. The ground level of the property has 140,000 square feet of space for retailers and other vendors. There is also 1.5 million square feet of creative office space across the three 13-story-tall buildings.
The site now also has a public space with a pavilion, performance space and pathways. An 8,000-square-foot fitness center and basketball court for tenants is also on tap.
“CMC has served as a historic cornerstone for L.A.’s most forward-thinking entrepreneurs in the fashion industry,” Bert Dezzutti, executive vice president of the western region at Brookfield Properties, said in a statement. “Now, the new CMC has been reimagined to appeal not just to fashion-focused commerce but also to creatives from the technology, entertainment and media industries. We are excited to welcome SPARC to the new CMC.”
SPARC Group isn’t the only company to sign a large lease at the property.
In January, it was announced that Adidas would occupy 107,000 square feet and a private skydeck at CMC. The company is expected to move into the space later this year.