Big Picture on Downtown
Your article missed the big picture (“New Projects Not Enough to Lure Tenants to Central City,” July 26). One quarter’s figures hardly provide an accurate picture of what is happening in downtown Los Angeles; more importantly, they certainly do not reflect downtown’s potential.
Those committed to the future of downtown Los Angeles instead take the long, broad view. Many public and private entities are working to reestablish downtown as a vital, bustling heart of the city. In order to do that we need to consider the big picture, and that picture is what downtown L.A. will be like many years from now, instead of focusing on quarter-to-quarter results. Indeed, a low vacancy rate of commercial space is but one component of a vibrant, dynamic central core.
The others are a viable live-work contingent and a sense of community. On these fronts, significant inroads are being made which, we believe, will positively impact the leasing statistics upon which you choose to focus. The renovations of the historic Continental Building at Fourth and Spring streets into 200-plus loft apartments and the Subway Terminal Building at 417 S. Hill St. are exciting steps in this direction. As well, the much-lauded Medici, a sprawling luxury apartment development underway at Seventh Street and the Harbor Freeway, will be a residential jewel in the downtown crown.
A favorable legislative climate is essential to downtown’s renaissance. There are two incentive programs currently in the works to expand downtown’s viability beyond the 9-to-5 commercial base. One of these is the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance, which went into effect on June 3, and the other is AB 601, the California statewide initiative currently in the state Senate. Both are incentive programs designed to encourage redevelopment and will help remake our downtown into a 24-hour city, drawing supermarkets and the other conveniences found in areas with growing residential bases.
This is the big picture. We are working hard to make it a reality, and those who stand to benefit the most from investing in downtown are those who come in on the ground floor now.
CAROL E. SCHATZ
President and CEO
Central City Association of Los Angeles