September 10, 2014

By comparison: If you think a high percent of Metro Vancouver's housing has been built downtown …

Try Los Angeles.


From Curbed LA:

One-Fifth of LA’s New Housing in Past 15 Years is in Downtown


If it seems like the new residential developments in Downtown get all the attention, that might be because they make up a crazy disproportionate amount of all the new housing built in Los Angeles in the last 15 years. “Downtown makes up one percent of the land area in Los Angeles, but it’s accounted fortwenty percent of new residential construction since the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance in 1999,” writes Better Institutions. …
Since 1999, almost 20,000 new housing units have been built in Downtown, with 20,000 more set to be finished within the next 10 years. Meanwhile, only 98,000 units have been built in the entire city in the last 15 years. 


Thanks to Brigham Yen.

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  1. Downtown LA is pretty much the ONLY part of Los Angeles that embraces density while almost everywhere else in LA has a very suburban mentality that is more pro-car than pro-pedestrian. That is why Downtown LA has been able to gain so much housing over the last 15 years versus the suburbs!

    1. Downtown LA is quite ugly. I stayed there for 2 games at the Staples center 3 years ago. Couldn’t wait to get out. 4 blocks east is worse than E-Van E-Hastings area.
      The charm of LA is in its beachside towns (that could be densified easily like Yaletown or CoalHarbor) or hillside mansions .. NOT in its downtown condos with neither ambience nor views nor water nor hills. It will never be a New York or Vancouver.

      1. Which goes to prove how little you know about a city when you make the choice to drive rather than walk or bike it.
        For many years now I’ve been taking at least one trip a year (always by train), to stay (always carless) in Downtown LA specifically for walking tours of the Beaux Arts, Deco and Victorian buildings. These buildings, like The Bradbury, The Oviatt etc are all in the area you turn your nose up at. I always stay in hotels 4-8 blocks east of the Staples Center because it’s such a vibrant area, and am perfectly at ease walking around there at night – as I am in ‘ E-Van E-Hastings area’.
        The condo conversions of warehouses and offices (like the 1936 UPS building on Flower St or the lovely deco Eastern Columbia Building on Broadway at 9th), have given rise to a vibrant walkable community with many delis and an excellent range of dining choices. Lots of places to buy clothes for your dog, vegan pizza, cup cakes or sit outside having a glass of wine with the hipsters who’ve bike in on the bike lanes (like on Spring St).

  2. And apparently Vancouver is the model they’re using, according to the Globe and Mail in May this year.
    ‘”Is L.A. the new Vancouver?”
    “Vancouver is one of the cities in North America that has done downtown residential densification right. And L.A. can only benefit from that,” says Carol Schatz, president and chief executive officer of L.A.’s Downtown Center Business Improvement District, a coalition of 450 property owners.’

  3. Channeling some Shoup to shed light one angle that helped turn around downtown LA: In 1999, Los Angeles removed the off-street parking requirements for converting historic office buildings into housing.