Grand Old L.A.

BY Carita Rizzo | September 19, 2017 | Feature Features

With City Market South, developers Kevin Napoli and Mark Levy breathe life into historic Los Angeles.

WHEN REAL ESTATE developers Kevin Napoli and Mark Levy first visited the location for their new development City Market South—which was formerly a produce market at the intersection of DTLA’s Fashion and Wholesale districts—they immediately saw its potential. “This place was built before everything was hyperfocused on the automobile, which meant that it was designed around people,” explains Napoli. “It feels like you’re in not only another city, but maybe another country.”
Despite its Old World charm, the co-founders quickly realized that to draw customers to the area, they would have to transform the space into a must-see site, complete with restaurants, shopping and more. “We didn’t think [that simply] building [something new] would grab the attention of people,” says Levy. “[So we] kicked off CMS with impressive food destinations that would set the table for future phases of construction.”

By being the first chef-driven restaurant to break ground, Steve Samson’s Rossoblu has already drawn crowds to the development, and with the 2018 opening of The Slanted Door from chef Charles Phan, City Market South will very soon be known as a must-visit foodie haven. “We have an all-star team,” says Napoli, who is quick to add that the destination has something for everyone. “We didn’t want to create anything elitist. We wanted food that people crave and to offer a welcoming environment.”

The UCLA business school buddies have even moved their own office to the location, meaning that picking the right tenants was all the more important. “[We were after] good people who wanted to collaborate and bring positive energy to the site,” says Napoli. “So often you expect creatives to be difficult, but we don’t have any of that here, which is fantastic. It has a good feel to be here.”

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