Construction in Downtown LA Is Largest in a Century

Despite the downtown construction boom as of late, the pace of development citywide still lags behind of what history shows. 

The towering Metropolis complex and the Wilshire Grand have changed the Downtown LA skyline considerably–both of those buildings are nearly complete. There are plenty of other major projects on the way and the pace of this new development is now pace to surpass that boom that took place and reshaped the downtown area in the 1980s.

The Times reports that the number of projects considered to be large since the turn of the decade is the highest that Downtown LA has seen since in almost a century. Seventy-nine (79) developments of 50,000 square feet or larger have been erected or are in development since 2010. In the 80’s, LA saw 64 projects, and 155 projects in the 2000’s.

But even though this boom is impressive, the pace of growth citywide still pales in comparison to those decades of past times. And that rings particularly true in one crucial sector: housing.

There are numerous reports that suggest that a huge increase in supply (i.e., more houses) is necessary in order to offset the rapid growth in housing prices in the area which is unaffordable to many downtown residents. Simple economics, when demand is high and supply is low, the price will inevitably increase. When demand is lower than supply, the price will decrease. Within 2010 and 2015 only 25,000 units were built. Meanwhile, every decade from the 1940’s to the 1980’s created well over 100,000 units.

While some projects that are currently in development will certainly help bolster the numbers in our decade, they will still pale in comparison to past decades.

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