End of Downtown Construction Boom May Be Near
"A fickle economy, rising construction costs, and skittish buyers are just a few of the factors that have slowed the frenzied development in downtown Los Angeles to a crawl. But as two of the area's largest planned projects-Frank Gehry and the Related Companies' $3 billion Grand Avenue Project and the $1 billion Park Fifth condo towers-failed to break ground as expected during the last few months, and as several smaller projects went under, hushed conversations between architects, developers, and real estate agents persist in the shadows of half-finished skyscrapers: Is downtown's rally over?"
"'I have the feeling that this is not a good time to be building skyscrapers, in LA or anywhere,' said Peter Slatin of the real estate website TheSlatinReport.com (and AN contributor). 'It's risky to start building into a market that's starting to decline without knowing how long the decline will last.' According to the National Association of Realtors, U.S. condo sales were down by about 11 percent in 2007, while residential construction dropped by almost 17 percent. According to most projections the numbers aren't expected to improve this year."