Former L.A. Macy’s department store to be adapted into airy office campus

Former L.A. Macy’s department store to be adapted into airy office campus

The design for West End opens up the formerly opaque department store box with a three-story courtyard space and floor-to-ceiling windows. (Courtesy HLW Architects)

It was announced on November 4 that a former Macy’s department store in the quickly developing Rancho Park neighborhood in West Los Angeles will be converted into a bustling office development. Los Angeles-based developer GPI Companies purchased the mid-century building on Pico Boulevard and Overland Avenue for $50 million in February 2017, along with the adjacent 1,500-car parking garage and an adjacent six-acre plot of land with plans to transform the site into an office campus called West End, which will feature over 230,000 square feet of leasable office and retail space. With close proximity to the Expo Line’s Westwood/Rancho Park subway station and a bevy of global companies including Fox Studios, Google, Hulu and Creative Artists Agency (CCA) nearby, GPI anticipates that West End will fit into the neighborhood as an ideal location for media, technology, and financial tenants.

Corner of a Macy's store decked out in deep arches
The corner entrance to the future office campus. (Courtesy HLW Architects)

New York-based HLW Architects, the group behind the design of West End, has envisioned an adaptive reuse conversion for the former Macy’s store while still making room for a spacious airy three-level central courtyard and introducing primarily drought-tolerant plants. The design also updates the original facade, already distinctive for its deep arches, by adding private balconies and floor-to-ceiling glass windows which will bring much-needed light into the building’s deep interior. “The intent,” according to the firm’s website, “was to repurpose the existing valuable infrastructure to revitalize community, to create a pedestrian-friendly environment, and to open up a big box store building into the urban fabric.”

Interior rendering of an office looking out to a courtyard in what was once a Macy's
Floor-to-ceiling windows will open up to the central courtyard to provide an open environment for the majority of the 230,000 square feet of office space contained within. (Courtesy HLW Architects)

With an estimated budget of $180 million for the project, GPI has already begun the process of transforming the mid-century department store building and anticipates that construction will be completed by early 2021. After that, Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. is expected to become its principal leasing agent.