ConstructionWatch: Inside Downtown’s Macy’s Fortress as the Roof is Ripped Off

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About two weeks ago, the roof began to come off of the impenetrable-looking, brick shopping complex in Downtown’s Financial District known as the Macy’s Fortress. The peeling-back of the ceiling is symbolically huge for the structure; the closed-off complex has long been seen as a relic in the era of open-air malls like The Grove or the nearby FIGat7th, but this is a big, showy milestone in its transformation into The Bloc shopping center, which will be much more inviting and accessible than the old fortress. It’ll also dovetail with several pedestrian- and transit-oriented projects headed for nearby streets, including the MyFigueroa plan that will make over Figueroa, and the similar reconfiguration planned for Seventh Street.

The Bloc is due to be unveiled in late 2015, according to a release from developer Ratkovich Company, and you can see just how different it will be from the Macy’s compound of the past in Studio One Eleven’s renderings. The Bloc will have a vast, open, central courtyard, plus its own connection to the Seventh Street/Metro Center station; more than 127,000 square feet of creative office space; an independent Alamo Drafthouse movie theater; and a fully revamped, 485-room Sheraton hotel next door. But this is the first time we’re taking a look inside the in-progress project, seeing the light filtering through the slats of the almost-totally-removed roof and getting a last view of the giant slabs of concrete that will soon be gone, making way for wide open space.

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