Downturn Helps Downtown L.A. Avoid Gentrification
Before the city's gentrifying downtown could go completely yuppy, the crash of the housing market and the economy seems to have stopped it in a sweet a spot, according to architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne.
"When the bottom fell out of the economy in 2008, taking the housing market along with it, the results, at least for many fledgling businesses downtown, were brutal. And yet the economic collapse has also managed to freeze downtown's transformation from sleepy to energized -- and freeze it at a particularly appealing spot.
Gentrification has decelerated in several parts of downtown into a kind of limbo, leaving them sufficiently changed to feel newly vital but not enough to seem overexposed. At the same time, plummeting housing prices and the conversion of several ill-fated condo projects into rental buildings means not only that the area is continuing to attract new residents but also that it may see a more compelling mixture of people -- more teachers and designers, fewer real-estate speculators -- than it did when forgettable two-bedroom units were selling for $800,000."