The 2023 Downtown Los Angeles Residential Report by the Downtown Center Bid reveals a substantial expansion in urban development, with 27,000 residential units currently in the construction pipeline for downtown Los Angeles. This marks a significant turnaround since 1999, transforming an area once characterized by underdevelopment and lack of services into a burgeoning urban center.
The report asserts that the current market in downtown Los Angeles consists of 47,000 residential units, which include 31,000 market-rate rentals, 7,000 condos, and 7,500 units of affordable housing. Nearly all of the market-rate rentals have been constructed after 1999, but demand has been consistently high since then. Approximately 87% of the market-rate rentals constructed between 1999 and 2007 were renovations and rebuilds of existing commercial spaces. More recently, the focus has been on breaking ground on completely new buildings. High-rise buildings of over thirty stories have been cropping up across the district.
Downtown Center Bid describes three such buildings that opened in 2023, the AVA Arts District, the Beaudry, and the Figueroa Eight. Developed by AvalonBay, the AVA Arts District is a mid-rise building with 457 rental units and over 61,000 square feet of retail space. The Arts District has been becoming increasingly gentrified over the past few years, with developers taking advantage of the large, unused warehouse spaces. The Beaudry is a sixty-four-story residential building situated in the FIGat7th retail complex. It includes 785 units and is the first project developed by Brookfield in the downtown Los Angeles area. The Figueroa Eight residential tower was renovated by Mitsui Fudosan who has owned the property since the 1980s. It now contains 438 brand-new residential units.
The report goes on to showcase three residential buildings currently under construction. The Weingart Tower 1A will become one of the largest permanent supportive housing projects in the area upon opening, with its nineteen stories and 278 units. The Onni Group’s Olympic & Hill tower will become the city’s tallest residential high-rise at over 760 feet. The building will contain 700 apartments and 15,000 square feet of retail space. In the Arts District, Carmel Partners is building the neighborhood’s first high-rise. The Alloy building will be home to 475 apartments and over 100,000 square feet of retail space.
The boom in development will not stop there. The report breaks down the specifics of projected construction and population growth in each of downtown LA’s eight neighborhoods. The bustling Financial District has over 1,600 apartments in the works, and that is one of the lowest pipeline numbers across the eight districts. South Park, home to the Crypto.com Arena and the LA Convention Center, comes in with the highest number of planned apartments with 6,685. It is followed closely by Historic Downtown with 4,610 residential units projected, and the fashionable Arts District, with 4,431 projected apartments. Chinatown, the Fashion District, and Bunker Hill will also see major upticks in residential developments in the coming years.
Affordable housing remains a pressing issue in Los Angeles, with downtown LA emerging as a key area for such development. According to the Downtown Center Bid, downtown LA, which comprises only 1% of the city’s total area, remarkably contains 10% of its affordable housing. This positioning as a central location for affordable living options indicates that downtown LA is poised to further expand its affordable housing projects in line with the ongoing construction boom.