What’s going in at the former Callender’s Wilshire space?
A “leased” sign has the community curious about the space that has sat empty for nearly five years. Many office buildings on Wilshire Boulevard remain vacant since the pandemic hit. Leases expired, and once hot-spot lunch venues shuttered.
Steve Kramer, president of the Miracle Mile Chamber of Commerce, though, said he sees evidence that some companies may be returning to the office. He pointed to the former Callender’s site. While the leasing agents did not respond for a request for comment, “I’m assuming it’s a restaurant because that would be a real good bellwether. That would be quite a commitment to what they think is going to go forward,” Kramer said, indicating that a lunch spot would show continued interest in the area.
Other restaurants nearby, including a Baja Fresh, closed during the pandemic. With far fewer workers taking lunch hours in the area, the need for dining spots has diminished.
On Jan. 9, Disney CEO Bob Iger informed employees that, starting March 1, they will be required to spend four days a week in the office, signaling an end to some pandemic-era workarounds.
But Newmark leasing agent Jay Luchs said that office spaces are still hurting. Luchs works with spaces in an office building near the old Callender’s site.
“I’m involved right across the street, with a beautiful marble building that has space, but yet my tenant wants out. We don’t have a tenant,” Luchs said.
On the flip side, though, Luchs said that retail businesses are thriving.
“There’s also a lack of availability of retail of options. Pretty much everything’s leased – Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Beverly Drive, Canon Drive, Melrose Avenue – they’re all leased. You cannot find space. We’re having to get extra creative now with finding spaces that aren’t on the market yet and that kind of thing,” he said.
Luchs did not know what would be going into the former Callender’s site, either. The “leased” sign and what it may mean for the surrounding business hub, meanwhile, is leaving people hungry for answers. Kramer speculated that another food establishment would likely take over the site.