LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Downtown Los Angeles seems to be experiencing a remarkable revitalization.
“Downtown Los Angeles is going through a transition like we’ve never seen before, I think certainly over the last 50 years. We’ve seen an enormous influx of capital that’s interested in Los Angeles, not just at a local level, but we’re seeing capital at a global level. We’ve seen enormous investment from Chinese investors,” Lew Horne, the regional president of the CBRE Real Estate Group, said.
According to Bloomberg.com, more than 21,000 residential units and 3,780 hotel rooms are under construction or planned, about $7 billion has been poured into downtown construction since 2011 and new condos are now selling for a median price of $523 per square foot compared to $322 per square foot in 2009.
Horne said downtown no longer looks like a ghost town after 5 p.m. on weekends and that’s because of the construction surge.
“This surge of retail and also residential activity is gonna start to change that imbalance and I think, frankly, if you can pick up an extra hour or two or three in a day because you’re not commuting, I think that’s a pretty compelling story to be living close by where you’re working,” Horne said.
Some Angelenos who have moved away have noticed a difference.
“I live in D.C. now and I’ve been traveling back and forth downtown over the last few years and I’m amazed at how quickly downtown has revitalized itself,” Alan Gordon said. “It seems like it’s really gone through some positive changes. You don’t see a lot of crime on the streets, you feel safe to walk around at night.”
Along with all the residential construction, new bars, nightclubs and restaurants have popped up.
Dinner at Alma on South Broadway can run up to $100 per person. Bon Appetit magazine declared it was the best new restaurant in America last year.
“Because of this residential surge, we’ve seen a tremendous number of high-end restaurants that are moving from the Westside and from outside of the area with very famous chefs that are actually investing in downtown Los Angleles,” Horne said.