Strengthening Recovery Has Downtown LA Booming Again

While the housing crash may have temporarily halted the dramatic growth in downtown LA's residential sector, new retail and restaurant openings continued. Now, as the housing market recovers, developers are clawing to get back to building residences.

2 minute read

September 12, 2012, 8:00 AM PDT

By Jonathan Nettler @nettsj

Ryan Vaillancourt explores the coming wave of development in downtown LA's residential market as ten new buildings and nearly 2,400 units are slated to start construction by next year. With a tight rental market, developers such as "Historic Core apartment king" Barry Shy are itching to move forward with plans that were shelved over the past five years.

"'The rental market, it's amazing,' said Shy, who already owns some 1,200
apartments in five Downtown buildings. 'I have no vacancy and the rent
keeps going up.'" 

"He is far from alone," says Vaillancourt. "A chorus of experienced Downtown developers are
all responding to current market conditions: Central City apartment
occupancy is at an all-time high, with some area landlords reporting
that their buildings are about 98% full."

With 28,861 housing units reportedly located in downtown at the start of 2012, many don't think the projected growth over the next few years (8%) will do much to alleviate soaring prices. 

"[Tom] Gilmore, one of the first modern era developers to build housing in
the Downtown core, said the units forecast to come online in the next
few years represent a drop in the ocean, chiefly because the area
remains home to some 500,000 jobs. The residential population is
estimated to be around 50,000," notes Vaillancourt.

"You have to always go back to the fundamental math
of how many jobs are there versus how much housing, and the ratio is
still way out of whack," Gilmore said. "We could probably use 200,000
more units of housing."


Monday, September 10, 2012 in Los Angeles Downtown News

Green rapid transit bus pulled into station in dedicated lane.

Indiana Once Again Considering Ban on Dedicated Transit Lanes

The proposed legislation would impact the construction of planned IndyGo Blue Line, the third phase of the city’s bus rapid transit system.

February 25, 2024 - Fox 59

View of 110 freeway with downtown Los Angeles buildings in background.

LA Freeway Ramp ‘Quietly Canceled’

A 2018 lawsuit forced Metro and Caltrans to do full environmental reviews of the project, leading to its cancellation.

February 29, 2024 - Streetsblog LA

View from shore of Sepulveda Basin water catchment basin with marsh plants along shore.

LA’s ‘Spongy’ Infrastructure Captured Almost 9 Billion Gallons of Water

The city is turning away from stormwater management practices that shuttle water to the ocean, building infrastructure that collects and directs it underground instead.

February 25, 2024 - Wired

Blue and white Pittsburgh bike share bikes lined up at a station with a red city bus on street in background.

Micromobility Operators Call for Better Links to Transit

For shared mobility to succeed, systems must tap into the connectivity and funding potential offered by closer collaboration with public transit.

March 4 - GovTech

New York MTA Bus

Retaining Transit Workers Is About More Than Wages

An analysis of California transit employees found a high rate of burnout among operators who face unpredictable work schedules, high housing costs, and occasional violence.

March 4 - Streetsblog California

View of Hollywood Reservoir with palm trees in foreground and Los Angeles neighobrhoods in background.

California's Stormwater Potential

A new study reveals that if California could collect and treat more stormwater in cities, it could provide enough water to supply a quarter of the state’s urban population.

March 4 - Cal Matters

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.