DTLA: A Target Demographic’s Dream List

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DTLA is the place to be.

FROM THE DESK OF: Aiza

Recently, DT News published an article summarizing Downtown Los Angeles demographics. I basically fit this exact demographic trend in terms of age, gender, and education level. I even walk to work, etc. Since I’m basically the target demographic marketers should aim to cater to in DTLA, I believe I have a worthy opinion.

Being a city girl at heart, I always held a fascination with the Downtown LA area. After graduating college in 1998, I started my career in Little Tokyo. I remember back then thinking about the potential of Downtown LA, but it just was not there yet. When I returned back to LA from NYC in 2006 I again found myself working in the DTLA area and over the last ten years, I have seen great growth and transformation. Slowly but surely, I witnessed more and more excitement to the area.

A year and half ago, I finally felt ready to move into a DTLA apartment. I don’t see myself moving away anytime soon. More than ever, I sense some of that NYC vibe I still crave. DTLA isn’t really a “bridge and tunnel” feel but more just a neighborhood to find good drinks, nightlife, art/culture and foodies.

I religiously follow all kinds of blogs and other online outlets to keep track of anything new and exciting happening downtown. Most importantly, I try to check out everything at least once. Below, I share my list of the new and upcoming developments that make this DTLA target demographic woman quite excited. Next, I share suggested business/idea I believe should come to the DTLA area. (Do you hear me, Developers?)

THE BLOC

 When I returned back to the DTLA area ten years ago, the only nearby lunchtime shopping to find was either 7th and Fig or the Macy’s Plaza. Macy’s Plaza was this sad looking shopping mall (sort of) with stores such as Macy’s, Express, Woman’s Footlocker and an unappealing Bailey’s Gym. The lower level food court included a Carl’s Jr. (which randomly sold pitchers of beer, too) and some other non-memorable food options. The entire “mall” was made up of this ugly red brick that created a 1970’s fortress vibe.

Over the past couple years, the plaza has been undergoing a massive renovation. Already, Macy’s improved itself with better selection targeting DTLA residents. With the new Whole Foods and 7th and Fig just blocks away, The Bloc will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood. I am excited to walk down the street for a movie and more retail. Change is happening!

SHAKE SHACK

Word on the street is Shake Shack is coming to DTLA. Um. Dream come true?!

In NYC, I worked across from Madison Square Park. When Shake Shack was still just a hot dog cart, I waited in that ridiculous line for a Chicago dog. When Shake Shack opened up its first brick and mortar in the park, I ate a Shake Shack burger and was hooked. Since moving back, every trip back to NYC always included a visit to Shake Shack. It tops my list of NYC must-do’s. I know the debate about In-and-Out versus Shake Shack and I’m team Shake Shack all the way.

Yes, I heard about the opening in West Hollywood and Glendale; it’s special but not as special as one opening just walking distance from my apartment and my job. Just today at lunch, friends living in the Koreatown area explained they already planned to Uber to the DTLA Shake Shack once it opened to avoid parking issues. A testament to the greatness of Shake Shack… fans already mapping out how to get there! Hurry up, 2017. LA City Building and Permits, please expedite this development!

DUNKIN’ DONUTS

I am a Dunkin’ Donuts fan. No better way to start the morning than a light and sweet coffee and a French cruller. Dunkin’ Donuts seems to be all over the United State but it took forever for it to finally arrive in California. Even so, there still are not enough Dunkin’ Donuts locations throughout the area just yet.

But DTLA is about to get a Dunkin’ Donuts! I will be there for sure. Despite DTLA fancy coffee spots such as Philz, Blue Bottle and so forth, I love the simple coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts. This new location is a bit far from my office but I hope that a downtown movement will start and Dunkin’ will set up in the Bunker Hill area eventually.

85°C BAKERY CAFE

I miss the convenience of the Famima store. To me it was the upgraded 7-11, but nothing good lasts forever. Replacing my nearby Famima, though, will be a Chinese bakery. That works! I’m looking forward to some egg tarts and coconut bread in the neighborhood.

Dream List:

While the DTLA area is definitely improving, I wish for my fellow demographic population the following might show up some day soon in the area:

  • Trader Joe’s. I hear rumors but never actual confirmation that Trader Joe’s will be opening in DTLA. Why hasn’t this happened yet? Visit the Whole Foods on any given day/night and you would ask the same!
  • Blow out salons. I do see some hair salons in the area with a blow out option. However I want just a blow out salon with the whole blow out experience. I see how the area might not be ready yet for Drybar, especially with the parking situation. But I do wish there was a place I could get a good blow out.
  • Charming brunch spots. While DTLA has great food options, I just don’t feel that Saturday morning brunch vibe quite yet. We just need more options. How about a place like Republique? Or Blu Jam Café?
  • Rooftop bars. I’m a rooftop bar junkie. Views+cocktails+music… More, please.
  • Coffee carts. Scattered throughout NYC, one can find a cart to grab cheap coffee. Why doesn’t DTLA open up this door? Not a food truck, but a coffee cart.

With the growth and developments of DTLA, more residents with a variety of tastes will start to settle in the area. Yes, there is much to look forward to but still so much more room to improve. I’m excited at the possibilities and for sure I will be re-signing my lease in DTLA.

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