Curtain call for downtown Macy's makes way for revitalization

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- In its day, the downtown Macy's department store with its wide opening to 7th Street was considered state-of-the-art.

Today, it looks stuck in the 1970s, and shoppers like Angel Camacho feel it.

"I have been into this place several times," he says. "It feels a little closed in, a little stuffy."

Squeezed between two high rises and covered with a translucent canopy, a new developer says it is time to raise the lid on the complex they are calling The Bloc.

The developer, the Ratkovich Company, showed off renderings Tuesday of what they're going for: sun-splashed eateries, boutiques and a fitness center. Among the new retailers is a Nordstrom Rack. There will be a passageway to the 7th Street metro station. Offices and a revitalized Sheraton Hotel are part of the reinvention with Macy's remaining as the anchor store.

"Today marks the transformation of the largest truly mixed-use project in the city of Los Angeles," CEO Wayne Ratkovich said.

The iconic Macy's sign is vintage 1973. On Tuesday, it was detached and brought down like a final curtain call. For the next two weeks, crews will pop off roof panels and let the sunshine in.

"We no longer want to see fortress-like buildings that separate the activity on the inside from what is going on in the outside," Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar said.

The Bloc at 7th and Flower streets is slated for completion by October.
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