The Exchange
Bellflower, CA
Transforming an Abandoned Department Store Into a Creative Development that Revitalizes a Once Thriving Main Street
Project Details


Bellflower, CA

Practice Theme

Building Community + Place

What We Did

Commercial, Adaptive Re-Use, Architecture


41,000 sq. ft.
The JCPenneys store in Bellflower operated between 1952 and 1979. Originally part of Bellflower’s Main Street, this section of Bellflower Boulevard was bifurcated in 1965 by the construction of the 91 Freeway, causing a gradual decline.

The completion of several nearby regional malls during this time accelerated the area’s economic distress resulting in the department store’s closing.

In 2019, the 41,000-square-foot Exchange was purchased to house the new headquarters for Howard CDM who added a co-working facility on the existing mezzanine level, with plans for a brewery/restaurant on the ground level.



A new mezzanine was constructed at the front of the building to provide private dining with an outdoor patio visible from the street.

This public/private venture also includes street improvements, including traffic calming, to bring economic vitality to the neighborhood.

Sometimes, the Better Alternative Is Not to Build New Things

Studio One Eleven, Howard CDM Team to Transform Bellflower

This Week’s LA Deal Sheet

The Exchange | Studio One Eleven | Archello

Former JCPenney Gets New Life as The Exchange

The Lazarus Complex: Some investors like bringing dead properties back to life and are finding the rewards are more than spiritual

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