Los Angeles at America’s Cultural Crossroads

Why LA is the city best positioned to guide America into the 21st century

Los Angeles is a difficult city to place into any neat categories.  To some extent, any place so big defies easy comprehension. But for LA this illegibility goes a bit deeper.  Today, there are by and large two main models for successful cities in America. The first is the coastal, urban, liberal city, exemplified by the likes of San Francisco, New York, or Boston.  The other is the inland, suburban, conservative city, typically referred to as a “Sun Belt” city, exemplified by the likes of Phoenix, Dallas, or Atlanta.

Transit Oriented Communities: A Year in Review

"Looking back on the program after one year, one can clearly see that it has made a positive impact in terms of producing additional transit-oriented development and more affordable housing units."

“Either you bring the water to LA or you bring LA to the water.”  The classic movie Chinatown tells the story of a crucial period in the city’s development: when the construction of a great aqueduct allowed Los Angeles to grow dramatically from its humble origins.  The plan, as this line from the film describes, was to concentrate the city’s future growth in the San Fernando Valley, where few people lived at the time but where that water source was most accessible.  Today, a new giant of civic infrastructure is in the works, and once more LA is being moved closer to it.

Elon Musk's Solution for Dodger Stadium Traffic is Full of Holes

"It is extremely unlikely that a tunnel between Dodger Stadium and Vermont would succeed, even if issues around Musk's grandiose overpromises were resolved."

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is back at it again with more outlandish ideas to solve Los Angeles' traffic. Earlier this month, Musk's latest venture–The Boring Company–resuscitated its flawed proposal to dig new car tunnels for Los Angeles, this time to connect the Red Line subway with Dodger Stadium.

Dynamic, Diversifying DTLA

DCBID's most recent quarterly market report highlights expanding office and retail markets, fueled by residential growth.

The Downtown residential market has been on fire for years now, with the retail and restaurant scene smoldering in its wake. Now those sparks are beginning to ignite the commercial office market – with our Q2 report showing growth in leasing activity, average rents and net absorption. But the numbers, while good news, aren’t the real story.

Brokers Find Space in the Shared Economy


As old industries change and giants of Corporate America fall left and right, a common term is heard striking fear (or opportunity) into the hearts of those of still untouched industries: disruption.

Explaining Los Angeles Geography to New Yorkers

"...the overriding reality is that the similarities of these two cities far outweigh their differences."

There is a tendency both amongst Angelenos and New Yorkers to view the others’ city as the polar opposite of their own.  New York is dense and space is oriented around the sidewalk and the train; Los Angeles is spread out and space is oriented around boulevards and freeways.  New York is brutally cold in the winter and stiflingly hot in the summer; Los Angeles is just slightly too warm year-round. New York is built around a clearly defined urban core; Los Angeles is the place Dorothy Parker once derided as “72 suburbs in search of a city.”

Humans of DTLA: The Downtown Center BID’s 2018 Survey


Last week I wrote about how our Q1 Market Report showed DTLA becoming a city unto itself. From an urbanism perspective, this is both an expansion of its modern role as LA’s Downtown, and a return to its historic origins as the birthplace of the City of Los Angeles.

DTLA is Proving It

If you’re wondering if the DTLA trend has peaked you’re asking the wrong question.

Back in 2015, as development in DTLA was reaching unprecedented levels, with over 10,000 units under construction by Q3 of that year, we came to believe that 2017 and 2018 would really be “prove it” years for the Downtown market.  Could it absorb that level of inventory?  Could it make the leap from exciting revitalization to major expansion?

If Homeownership is the American Dream, Why Do We Mostly Build Rental Apartments?

There are four main reasons, and unfortunately, they are not easy fixes.

Homeownership has long been considered a part of the American dream, and the government has spent decades developing laws to promote and incentivize it as a practice. As so many Californians are housing insecure during our current affordability crisis, ownership is a way to create stable, predictable household housing costs at all income levels.

L.A. is ready for micro-units

Micro-units are apartments as small as 140 square feet and as large as 350, and they take a variety of forms.

In a county facing a shortage of a million housing units, how can we provide more affordable housing, be more welcoming to families, and boost transit ridership in our urban centers? For all three, the answer comes in a small package: micro-units.