Telco hotels are floors or buildings entirely devoted to telecommunications switching equipment, and their presence can be a tremendous asset to a central business districts. These telecommunications facilities in downtown Los Angeles have helped raise overall office leasing in 1999 to 1.69 million square feet, two-thirds of which came from telco hotels. The downside of telco hotels is few people are needed to work in them, creating telco hotel ghost towns around the buildings, which could impact LA's plans for a vibrant downtwn. Economic planners and two city-council members are preparing an interim city ordinance that would require building owners or telecom tenants to get permits and set aside the ground floors of buildings for retail and commercial use. Many technology groups oppose the plan: "This initiative represents a complete deafness to market forces. People will come to downtown when the market dictates," says Rohit Shukla, chief executive of the Los Angeles Regional Technology Alliance.
Thanks to Chris Steins