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January 22, 2007
L.A. Builds Up and (Possibly) Underground
Los Angeles' energetic mayor Antonio Villaraigosa trotted out a telling statistic at an event inuagurating the city's newest office tower, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, last week. Villaraigosa said that in the past 17 years--as long as his son had been alive--only two new high-rise buildings had opened in L.A. Today, there are over 80 in the works.
As high-rises go, 2000 Avenue of the Stars isn't even that big. It's just twelve stories and it was built on the site of the former ABC Television headquarters. Still it took the building's owner, JP Morgan Chase, ten years to get the project done. Located in L.A.'s Century City neighborhood, the building now houses the offices of Creative Artists Agency, the talent agency, and the Annenberg Foundation.
Obviously much has changed in real estate in the past ten years. Economics are now favoring new construction, particular on the residential side. Mayor Villaraigosa said 2000 Avenue of the Stars represented the future of traffic-plagued L.A. It's a neighborhood where people can live, work and shop, although Century City will always more car-centric than say Lower Manhattan or Chicago's Inner Loop.
The Mayor also emphasized his support for the "Subway to Sea," an extension of the city's existing Red Line from downtown all the way to the beach in Santa Monica. It's a multi-billion dollar, decade long project, still in the just-talking-about stages. But as the developers of 2000 Avenue of the Stars have proven, long-term projects can come to fruition.
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LA has tried it in the past and it was not embraced by its citizens--I highly doubt things will be different this time around. Unless the Gov is putting pressure on LA to go green.
Posted by: Nagel at January 22, 2007 09:16 PM
It just makes sense.If you can work and live within walking distance, you can spend less on transportation, infact, you can get rid of the car, and invest all that extra cash in lets say, real estate.It has been my experience that an average commuter with a new SUV will spend close to 1000 dollars a month in servicing and maintanance costs.Imagine if you can shave off that burden, and simply walk to work, like some doctors and nurses at parkland hospital in dallas texas do.They live within a stone's throw from the medical center in the burgeoning neighborhood surrounding the hospital that was neglected for years but is now being rebuilt aggressively.Well, if LA can do it, the Dallas can surely do it.
Posted by: mazembe at January 23, 2007 04:10 AM
Los Angeles, and California as a whole, are too focused on wasteful entitlement programs to invest in infrastructure.
Posted by: Chad McWhorter at January 23, 2007 04:58 PM
This should be seen as what it is. A payback to the trade unions that got Villaragosa elected. These projects will be rife with corruption and kickbacks we won't hear about for years. LA should be conccentrating on telling people to populate other areas of California instead of trying to stack people on top of people in super dense high rises to satisfy political contributors.
Posted by: Ron Walker at January 31, 2007 01:43 AM