The ancient, hulking Southern Pacific complex at 7th and Alameda has a new paint job courtesy of the artist Retna. The massive street art overlay of cryptic hieroglyphics (check out his work on the Wilshire segment of the Berlin wall) would appear to be the first step in converting two of the three giant buildings that date back to 1917 into a shopping and office campus. American Apparel will keep manufacturing t-shirts in their factory for the time being but the remainder of the 30-acre property is slated to become a fancy shopping mall with 100 shops and 15 new restaurants called ROW DTLA. Owner Atlas Capital Group will convert the remaining 1.3 million feet of industrial space upstairs, designed by architect John Parkinson (known for Union Station, City Hall, and the Coliseum), into creative office loft luxury whatnot. The Arts District marches west. Stay tuned.
Photograph by Chris Nichols