Report details the development-rich year that was 2016 for Downtown LA

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In Downtown LA, 2016 was a banner year for construction that ended with a bang, according to a new report from the Downtown Business Improvement District. “Having been doing this for as long as I have, I have not seen a year where there has been such dramatic growth,” the BID’s President and CEO Carol Schatz, who has worked in Downtown for over two decades, toldLos Angeles Downtown News.

A quick trip through Downtown offers many signs that construction in the neighborhood is not slowing down. And, now, this new fourth-quarter report provides some data to quantify the omnipresent boom.

Here’s what the report found:

  • In the year as a whole, construction was finished on 2,671 residential units, and work began on 4,000 more.
  • In the fourth quarter of the year, 7,645 new residential units—1,200 of them condos—were proposed for DTLA, a spike that had previously been explained as developers trying to get proposals in the pipeline in case Measure S passed. The measure, which would have called for a two-year building moratorium, was defeated on Tuesday.
  • Rents in office spaces in the subset called Class A, which is the kind of offices that comprise tall towers, climbed, too, and, overall, office space vacancy rates dropped 4.5 percent from the year before, down to 16.8 percent.

There’s a lot of new office space being built right now in projects such as the Broadway Trade Center and the towering Wilshire Grand, both of which will have about 400,000 square feet of offices each.

But Schatz told the News she was optimistic the office space market would stay strong. Downtown office space is still far less expensive than, say, Century City or other Westside hotspots, Steve Marcussen, executive director of Cushman and Wakefield, told Downtown News.

Schatz told the newspaper that despite all of the recent building, there are still parts of Downtown that are underdeveloped.

She also noted there are far fewer hotel rooms around the convention center compared to most other major cities. City officials are definitely working on that, with a handful of new hotels in the works on blocks near the convention center.

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