The Downtown Shooting Star Sputters

Less than a year ago, downtown Los Angeles was seen as a rising star, on a path towards becoming a vibrant and humming urban core. But the economic dive has stalled many projects, and they could be stalled for quite a while, according to this column.

"Downtowns, of course, must be more than their skylines, and the truth is that development has hit a wall. Once L.A. Live's convention center hotels are finished, construction cranes will be a rare sight for at least several years. By the end of 2008, the economic bust had essentially frozen all residential projects that lacked financing. The massive Grand Avenue development, which was to be the northern bookend to L.A. Live, with a mix of hotels, condos, and retail, has been on hold for months because the developer cannot get a construction loan. Completion of the first phase was scheduled for 2011, but that's unlikely to happen."

"Before the Los Angeles City Council passed the adaptive reuse ordinance in 1999, which streamlined the process of converting unused office buildings into lofts, downtown had 11,626 housing units. Today the number is 25,221, with another 22,180 slated to go up. But of that 22,180, only a fraction-4,362-are actually under construction. The rest are in development limbo, either stuck in the city's lengthy entitlement process or lacking the money to get under way."

Full Story: Soft Core

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