Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - markets

Designers: Yellin Properties, LLC (firm); Adele M. Yellin (real estate developer); Ira Edward Yellin (developer)

Dates: constructed 1917

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317 South Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013-1229

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317 South Broadway between Third and Fourth Avenues;

Overview

The Grand Central Market replaced the noted Ville de Paris Store #2, that occupied the first floor of the Homer Laughlin Building between 1904 and 1917. The market has served as a source of locally-grown produce and prepared foods with vendors occupying about 40 stalls in the facility. It experienced a resurgence under the management of Adele Yellin, the President of the Yellin Company, LLC, who attracted a new generation of chefs and high-quality vendors to congregate there during the 2000s and 2010s.

Building History

The Grand Central Market opened in 1917 and has occupied the first floor of the Homer Laughlin Building since then. It took the place of the Ville de Paris Department Store that operated in this space between 1904 and 1917.

As per the Grand Central Market.com web site, the market, early on, functioned as an important distribution point for produce and processed food in Downtown Los Angeles: "...in the 1920s our ninety-plus vendors included multiple green grocers, fishmongers, Jewish delis, and butchers, as well as stalls for dry goods, baked goods, flowers, coffee, cheese, notions—and even one vendor who sold nothing but eggs." (See Grand Central Market.com, "Grand Central Market History," accessed 05/22/2019.) Danny Jensen, writing for KCET.org summarized the significance of the market's early years: "When Grand Central Market opened in 1917, it offered residents of Bunker Hill and the surrounding downtown neighborhood a single location to buy their groceries or stop for lunch. According to the Herald Examiner in 1946, Grand Central Market at the time, 'Catered to the well-to-do Angelinos that rode the Angels Flight Railway, allowing for easy access to the best open-air shopping in town.' An early promotional booklet for L.A.’s 'Wonder Market' boasted of 250-foot display cases, featuring everything from fish, oysters and meat to the finest produce from farmers across the Southland. Shoppers could also find stalls with eggs and butter, bakeries, delicatessens, candy shops, florists, specialty goods and lunch counters." (See Danny Jensen, KCET.org, "Grand Central Market: A Look Back at 100 Years," published 10/23/2017, accessed 05/23/2019.)

The lawyer and developer Ira Edward Yellin (born 07/09/1940-d. 09/10/2002) bought the Grand Central Market in 1984 and, five years later, purchased the neighboring Million Dollar Theatre Building and Bradbury Building. His firm, Yellin Company, LLC, carefully renovated each building, underscoring its commitment to historic preservation in Downtown Los Angeles. After his death in 2002, his wife, Adele Adest Yellin (born c. 1947 in NY) took over management of the market, then experiencing some business problems. In order to resuscitate it, she encouraged up-and-coming chefs and entrpreneurs to open Grand Central Market stands. According to a profile of Adele Yellin in Ageist.com: "She had tried getting big name restaurants and chefs to open up an outpost at the market. But they all turned her down. So instead she bet on young, talented cooks and owners who thought like the entrepreneurs and creatives who were beginning to call the neighborhood home. Wexler’s Deli, G&B Coffee, Sticky Rice … the list of successful businesses that found traction at Grand Central Market is long. To Ira’s vision of revitalization, Adele added an incubator for culinary talent." The article also stated, "In 2014,Bon Appetit magazine included Grand Central Market – a collection of 36 vendors with cuisines spanning the globe—on its best new restaurants list. A cookbook including recipes from and the history of the market, penned by Yellin and her longtime writer and collaborator Kevin West has sold successfully." Adele Yellin managed the Grand Central Market to become a destination for discriminating diners and particularly for younger people eager to find high-quality, relatively low-cost food.

Yellin herself described her vision for the market: "“I wanted foodies. I'm a foodie. I wanted young, entrepreneurial chefs. That's what you were seeing. Downtown was sort of swarming a lot with these people. I knew that that kind of edgy group of entrepreneurs would be... I just felt would be right." (See Danny Jensen, KCET.org, "Grand Central Market: A Look Back at 100 Years," published 10/23/2017, accessed 05/23/2019.)

She sold the Grand Central Market in 11/2017, and shuttered the offices of Yellin Company, LLC, in 04.2018. (See Ageist.com, "Adele Yellin, 71, Yellin Company," published 10/31/2018, accessed 05/22/2019.) Yellin sold the Homer Laughlin Building/Grand Central Market and the neighboring Million Dollar Theatre and Office Building to Adam Daneshgar, President of Langdon Street Capital, for an undisclosed amount. (See Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times.com, "Downtown's historic Grand Central Market is sold to a local investor who promises few changes," published 11/01/2017, accessed 05/23/2019.) Daneshar indicated that he would maintain the Yellin Company's approach to management, seeking high-quality, diverse tenants to sell from the market's stalls. He noted that he would spend some money to lightly enhance the facility by painting and refurbishing surfaces and possibly adding one or two stalls to the interior.

Yellin joined the Board of Directors of SCI-Arc in 03/2019.

Building Notes

Adele Yellin and the Yellin Company, LLC, obtained a Master Use Permit to sell beer and wine for on-site consumption at the Grand Central Market on 04/12/2013.

Alteration

A new awning and a 120-foot facade of blue porcelain enamel tiles was installed at the market in the late 1950s or early 1960s. This was removed in later years.

PCAD id: 1467