Imagine a cross between WeWork and the Fashion District’s LA Mart, with a hint of SoHo House — except it’s all about weed. WeedWork? Sorry. This is the basis of creative agency Green Street’s ambitious new headquarters in downtown’s Historic Core, with M-Rad Architecture remodeling a 100-year-old, eight-story, 70,000-square-foot former furniture factory on Hill Street into a multi-function business hub for weed companies, with robust internal and more public-facing cultural programs, an upscale restaurant and jazzy event spaces. Green Street is not a dispensary (although an independent delivery service works out of the building and operates Amazon-style pick-up lockers, as well as selling weed-related supplies and merch). Rather, it’s a gorgeous and super-pro layout of small, bright, membership model co-working and executive offices, with event spaces in between and art everywhere.
The first floor is home to Gusto Green — a plant-forward, hemp-friendly and rather elegant restaurant. The second floor is where you’ll find the aforementioned Hyperwolf delivery service. The third and fifth floors have the glass-walled, tech-enhanced business suites and extensive, rotating installations of small works and prints curated by Thinkspace Projects — an eclectic, indie, street, and new contemporary art emporium that takes the job of creating a high-energy, thoughtful, diverse and accessible art collection for Green Street members seriously. The gallery also will be curating larger-scale solo and thematic exhibitions in the very chic penthouse, as well as programming art activations for next month’s gigantic Green Street Festival.
The fourth floor is the Buyers Lounge — a well-appointed party showroom where monthly arts, music, culture and tasting events are hosted, and which is currently home to highlights from Green Street president Rama Mayo’s extensive personal art collection. The sixth floor is a total mystery. Maybe it’s like a Being John Malkovich type situation, who knows. Then it’s up to the ALTA Penthouse and rooftop lounge — alta means “high,” and it’s the quintessential downtown hang; it’s expected to open in time for summer. There’s to be a stage, full bar, kitchen, comfy seating, a firepit and perfect views. ALTA also has a vast white box gallery and indoor event space that can easily handle museum scale artwork, and where Green Street and Thinkspace Projects will present larger exhibitions, beginning with Lili Hayes’ zany solo project at the end of May, and a solo show by Loser Angeles in July.
If this seems like a lot of art for what’s mainly a cannabis business, that’s exactly how Green Street president Rama Mayo and his partners like it. In addition to his personal collection, the company itself has invested in art and artists it believes in for years. Mayo’s background includes his legendary tenure at San Francisco’s Medicine Agency & Gallery, which similarly was known for infusing contemporary art and artists into every possible aspect of the gig. He makes art, too. And he makes furniture — which is a brilliant coincidence actually, because the site of the new HQ was constructed over a century ago for The Los Angeles Furniture Factory. (But you might remember it from Terminator.)
Mayo founded Green Street Agency in 2013 together with partner Josh Shelton; investor guru Gary Vaynerchuck joined them in 2017. They’ve since gone on to represent some of the most iconic brands and names in the industry, advising on everything from creative branding to legal compliance. Many of those brands are among the 50 or so companies using the premises — as well as joining the cohort for the upcoming Green Street Festival, May 13 and May 14.
Inspired by SXSW, Green Street has set out to create the largest gathering of global cannabis society in history, and is launching this as an annual tradition surrounding its shiny new HQ in the heart of downtown. With blocks closed to make space for outdoor vendor villages, curated art exhibitions and live activations, educational speakers, carnival games, food, music, and mellow shenanigans for a gathering of thousands, it will be supremely impressive when they manage to pull it off. But no matter what, Green Street is here to stay, revitalizing the architecture and economy of the Historic Core with a holistic vision for an infused community.
Visit 718southhill.com for more information and to RSVP for upcoming Green Street events.