Central City Apartment Complexes are Proving Wildly

The answer to that age-old question Can white-collar workers be enticed to live downtown? appears to be yes. Two developers who took the plunge into downtown housing are starting to see their high-stakes gamble pay off.

On July 8, G.H. Palmer Associates opened the first 92 units of its Medici apartment complex on Seventh Street just west of the Harbor (110) Freeway. And Gilmore Associates expects to welcome the first tenants to its San Fernando Building in the old financial district by mid-August.

The 92 apartments at the Medici are the first installment of what is designed to ultimately be a $100 million, 658-unit complex, and owner Geoff Palmer says there has been no shortage of takers thus far.

"We've been overwhelmed," said Palmer. "There's been a tremendous amount of interest."

Of the first 92 units, all but two penthouse apartments have been leased, according to Palmer, and there is a waiting list for the next 120 units set to come online Aug. 15.

With rents starting at $1,200 a month for a one-bedroom apartment and increasing to $2,800 for a penthouse unit, the five-story, Mediterranean-style Medici targets professionals who work downtown. It will feature swimming pools, shops and a park for its tenants.

Lawyers and accountants who live there will be able to stroll in minutes from their front door to their offices on Figueroa and Flower streets on the other side of the freeway.

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