Neighbor Beefs: People Running Import/Export, Call Center, Recording Studio Businesses Out of LA CondosMay 22, 2013 | PropertyRazzi
If live/work units conjure up romantic images of artists and studio spaces (or at least of one less person commuting to the office), prepare to be disappointed. According to the LA Business Journal (sub. req.), there’s trouble brewing at a number of condos around town where non-resident owners are using their units to run everything from call centers (at the Ritz-Carlton !) to recording studios . Annoyed by the comings and goings of their professional non-neighbors–a guy running an import/export business from home seems to have been a particular nuisance– some home owners associations are changing the rules to explicitly prohibit condos from being used this way. At the Lofts @ Hollywood and Vine , a live/work building, seven owners (including Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame) are suing over the rule change; none of them had ever intended to live in the units.
LA County is in the midst of figuring out what to do about the notoriously awful Men’s Central Jail near Union Station. Two months ago, Sheriff Lee Baca proposed a plan that would replace it with a panopticon (that got shot down ), and consultants are now exploring other options for the $933-million project. Now County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky has a proposal of his own, supported unanimously at this morning’s Board of Supervisors meeting: tear down one of the jail’s twin towers and replace it with a health care, mental health, and rehab facility for inmates. In his proposal, Yaroslavsky says that the project “could result in better and more humane outcomes for these prisoners as well as a more cost-effective solution to the problem of housing the general jail population.” According to the LA Times , some 70 percent of inmates have mental health or drug problems, and Yaroslavsky also notes that proper treatment can dramatically reduce rates of recidivism. No word yet on how much this would cost, but it’s possible that state funding could help defray both construction and treatment costs. With today’s vote, the consultants will now be instructed to analyze this concept as part of their work. · L.A
Local heroes AEG seem to be having a good old-fashioned fall from grace: the developers behind LA Live and the Downtown NFL stadium (before that apparently all went to shit ) have now lost the X Games , which have been held in and around Downtown for a decade. AEG was up for sale last fall and couldn’t come to terms on a new contract for the games, so now they’ll be off to Chicago, Detroit, Austin, Texas, or Charlotte. [ESPN, image via]
GentrificationWatch: Drive-In Displaced By Historic Core Skyscraper Moving to Fashion District MegaprojectApril 11, 2013 | PropertyRazzi
So much movie theater news Downtown this week–the day after we find out that Alamo Drafthouse is coming to the Historic Core , news that the Ele ctric Dusk Drive-In has found a new home at the future megaproject City Market site in the Fashion District. Electric Dusk had been screening movies on the roof of a crappy building at Fourth and Broadway, which is about to be demolished for a 22-story skyscraper –the building owners told them last month they’d have to leave and drive-in lovers panicked. In came the developers of City Market, the huge multi-use development that’s going to cover 10 blocks in the Fashion District with hotels, apartments, offices, and even a college. The drive-in will be housed at the actual site of the old produce market at San Pedro and Twelfth; construction on the megaproject isn’t set to start for a couple of years, but “Until then and perhaps long beyond, theater-goers will have a ground-level view of the downtown skyline behind the big screen on the City Market campus,” according to the LA Times . The first screening will be Goodfellas on April 27. · Skyscrapers Hit Historic Core: 22-Story Tower Proposed [Curbed LA] · Huge Fashion District Project Will First Clearcut 10-Acre Site [Curbed LA]
[Image via Sterlingdavisphoto / Curbed LA flickr pool ] Apartments are hot hot hot all over–vacancies are low and rents are high, and so developers are pouring money into new rental projects–but meanwhile the poor condos are suffering! The Downtown News reports that Downtown rentals are at 98 percent occupancy, but things are even rougher in the for-sale market: “In a community with an estimated 50,000 residents, there are currently only 64 active listings on the MLS” (although it notes that some of the Ritz-Carlton Residences are kept off the market, plus there are sometimes non-publicly-listed units). Several projects that were built as condos went rental during the recession and said they’d switch back when the market turned around, but none have so far. Meanwhile, “demand hasn’t yet pushed prices far enough above what it costs to build a for-sale structure.” Let’s examine the madness: — “When listings hit the market, most receive multiple offers, and the majority of buyers miss out on their first choice,” according to the owner of the Loft Exchange. — Since the fourth quarter of 2009, median price is up 14 percent, to $395,000 . — Related Cos. had originally planned to build a whole bunch of condos for its Grand Avenue megadevelopment, but now the first building is going up and it’ll be rental