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Inglewood residents sue to block Clippers arena

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Construction at Hollywood Park, near where the Clippers arena would be built.

They want affordable housing instead of an arena

Trying to halt plans for a new Clippers arena on public land, a group of residents filed a civil lawsuit against the city of Inglewood on Tuesday.

The lawsuit seeks to make the land available for affordable housing, rather than the NBA team. The Clippers want to build a new home court on the city-owned site, which is located directly across the street from an under-construction NFL stadium and a massive new mixed-use community at Hollywood Park.

“Our city has been moving in the wrong direction,” says Uplift Inglewood member Woodrow Curry III. He says city officials of favoring “billionaire sports owners” over working class residents facing rapidly escalating housing costs.

The mayor’s office did not return messages seeking comment.

Last year, the Inglewood City Council entered into an exclusive negotiating agreement with Murphy’s Bowl, a company owned by the Clippers, setting the stage for development of a new basketball arena on a multi-acre site owned by the city.

Under the terms of the California Surplus Land Act, cities planning to sell or give away public land must first seek out proposals for affordable housing construction on the site.

Attorneys for Uplift Inglewood say Inglewood skipped this step when it moved forward last year with plans for the basketball arena.

Aerial view of construction at Inglewood NFL stadiumAll images courtesy Los Angeles Stadium & Entertainment District
Aerial view of construction at Inglewood NFL stadium.

Inglewood rents are still lower than those in the greater Los Angeles region, but prices are climbing quickly. The average cost of an apartment in the city is now $1,250 per month, up nearly 6 percent over a year ago, according to CoStar.

The suit also alleges that Inglewood has been ignoring other state laws that mandate construction of new affordable housing. For instance, when the city’s community redevelopment agency shuttered in 2012, local leaders were obligated to replace any affordable units demolished as part of past redevelopment projects.

According to a 2015-16 report, the city still has 112 units to go to fulfill this obligation.

That may not be enough to meet demand from residents. According to the Department of Housing and Community Development, Inglewood—along with most California cities—is falling well short of regional housing goals.

To meet these state-monitored goals, Inglewood will need to add 567 units of housing affordable to residents earning very low to moderate incomes by 2021. Since 2013, none of these units have been built in the city at all.

Representatives of Uplift Inglewood say a lack of affordable housing construction amounts to discrimination against lower earning residents.

“This lawsuit is about more than a wonky housing violation,” said Public Counsel attorney Antonio Hicks at the press conference. “It’s about residents being forced out of their homes by skyrocketing housing costs.”

City councilmember asks for vote on Skid Row bike lanes

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People who ride bikes through Skid Row now have to leave the neighborhood to find a bike lane.

The lanes would run on Fifth and Sixth between Central and Broadway

A neighborhood movement to install bike lanes through a portion of Skid Row might pick up steam this week.

The Los Angeles City Council is scheduled to vote Friday on whether to consider adding bike lanes on Fifth and Sixth streets, from Broadway to Central Avenue. The vote comes at the request of councilmember Jose Huizar, who represents Downtown.

Adding these lanes to the city’s longterm transportation plan could “facilitate improvements and increased safety for pedestrians and bicyclists,” says Huizar’s spokesperson, Rick Coca.

Right now there are bike lanes in several Downtown neighborhoods, including on Seventh Street—but those cut off right at Main Street, which is the western boundary of Skid Row.

In the coming years, the city plans to add more bike lanes to the area, including throughout the Arts District and on Skid Row’s borders, but none are planned directly in Skid Row.

That’s unacceptable for a neighborhood where so many residents walk and uses bikes for transportation, says Ariana Alcaraz, an organizer with Skid Row-based Los Angeles Community Action Network.

LA CAN has been working to get bike lanes in Skid Row for years, but the campaign has really “amped up” in the last two or so years says Alcaraz.

Last summer, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition teamed up with LA CAN in the push for bike lanes. In May, Huizar introduced the motion to explore the possibility of adding the streets to the mobility plan.

That same month, the bicycle coalition published a blog post, expressing dismay at the speed of progress on the issue, which it described as “frustratingly slow.”

“Skid Row deserves bike lanes and safety improvements just as much as the Arts District— and definitely with more urgency,” the coalition wrote.

Huizar’s motion wouldn’t bring bike lanes to the neighborhood right away, but it could lead to including them in the city’s Mobility Plan 2035.

That would only be the beginning, says Alcaraz. “The bigger fight will be to get the lanes prioritized” so they can actually be built, she says.

Bike lanes have been a hot-button issue in some LA neighborhoods, where they symbolize, for some, the anticipated arrival of new, more moneyed residents to working-class neighborhoods.

But Alcaraz, citing LA CAN’s varied work in the community, on everything from civil rights to housing, says that because of the many fronts on which they are advocating for residents, the organization is confident it can “ensure that bike lanes are not used as a tool for gentrification.”

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Sunny Streamline Moderne in the Hollywood Hills asks $1.25M

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Signature features include steel casement windows, portholes, fluted glass, curved walls, and a magnesite staircase.

Located in the Cahuenga Pass not far from Universal Studios, this jaunty 1936 residence is believed to be the work of Streamline Moderne master William Kesling.

Closely resembling Kesling’s Adams House in Silver Lake, the three-bedroom home sports many original elements, such as horizontal steel casement windows, portholes, fluted glass, curved walls, three-quarter sawn oak floors, and a magnesite staircase. The home’s kitchen and baths, however, appear to have undergone a rather zany makeover at some point in the ’90s.

On a lush, .32-acre lot, the property also features a bonus studio with half-bath, an outdoor bar, a fiberglass hot tub, multiple decks and patios, and a detached two-car garage.

It’s listed with an asking price of $1.249 million.

As rents soar in Warner Center, LA considers new affordable housing requirements

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A 5-year-old plan for development in Warner Center doesn’t include affordable housing requirements.

Average rental prices went up 33 percent in five years

As rental prices soar in the area, Los Angeles officials are mulling new affordable housing requirements in Warner Center.

Last week, the City Council asked planning staffers to consider adding new incentives and development requirements to a community plan for the area in order to spur construction of new affordable housing.

A key economic hub in the San Fernando Valley, Warner Center has attracted plenty of attention from developers in recent years. Proposed projects like a massive mixed use overhaul of the Promenade Mall and a similarly enormous transformation of the Warner Center Corporate Park are poised to further transform the neighborhood.

But affordable housing in the area is scarce. According to CoStar, the price of an average apartment in the Woodland Hills sub-market—which includes Warner Center—now stands at $2,200 per month.

That’s nearly 6 percent above the price recorded a year ago and about $350 higher than the Los Angeles-wide average. Over the past five years, rents in the area have spiked almost 33 percent—compared to 23 percent across all of LA, CoStar figures show.

CoStar analyst Stephen Basham tells Curbed that’s partly a supply and demand issue. Planned development projects may have attracted interest from residents and investors, but they haven’t actually produced any new housing yet. And though some units are now under construction, Basham says it has been three years since the last new apartments opened in the area.

City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, who represents Warner Center, suggests that the city needs to do more to ensure the area remains affordable to “teachers, nurses, and first responders.”

Jake Flynn, communications director for Blumenfield, tells Curbed that the councilmember is acutely aware of high housing costs and shrinking options for low- and moderate-income tenants.

“After years of seeing nearly all luxury housing coming into the area, it became apparent that more needed to be done,” Flynn wrote in an email.

Five years ago, city officials approved the Warner Center 2035 plan aimed at guiding the area’s future growth as a center of both jobs and housing. The extensive plan covers everything from design elements of new buildings to the installation of street lights, but contains no provision requiring or even encouraging development of affordable housing.

That could change now that city officials have new tools at their disposal to address affordability concerns across LA.

In December, the City Council approved new fees on developers that will subsidize affordable housing construction. New incentives for projects near transit that include housing for lower-income tenants could also encourage affordable development around major bus routes in the area.

Flynn says that another policy planners will consider for the area is inclusionary zoning, a tool that allows city officials to require certain percentages of affordable housing in new market rate projects. A 2009 court decision invalidated the LA’s existing inclusionary zoning rules, but state lawmakers approved a workaround last year allowing California cities to enforce such policies once more.

Right now, the eastern part of Westlake is the only part of Los Angeles with inclusionary zoning rules in effect, but the list of neighborhoods could grow as planners work to update all 35 of the city’s community plans.

Flynn points out that affordable housing may also be a key part of making Warner Center a more sustainable neighborhood. That’s a key component of the 2035 plan, but, as Flynn writes, “it is hard to defend [sustainability goals] when many of the workers in the area must travel many miles or on multiple buses to work.”

Planning staff will report back to the council at a later date with recommendations on how to address affordability in the area.

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Hancock Park estate built for Vernon’s founder seeks $10.9M

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On the market for the first time

A Hancock Park property built for an important turn-of-the-century landowner is on the market in the upscale neighborhood. The estate was built for John B. Leonis, one of the founding fathers of the city of Vernon, famed for its industry and corruption (a reputation Leonis largely helped to build).

Described in the listing as a “Mediterranean Revival with Palladian and Italian influenced designs and ornament,” the six-bedroom, 10-bathroom estate features a main residence with beamed ceilings, wood floors, stunning colorful bathroom tile, and arched doorways.

Standout features include a formal dining room with a patterned, coved ceiling and an elegant curving staircase in the entry.

The house’s groin-vaulted loggias and patios look out on the nearly 41,000-square-foot double lot on which the property sits. Gardens and lawns fill the space, and the property holds a separate cottage intended for staff quarters.

On the market for the first time, the house is listed at $10.9 million.

California residents will get to vote on stronger rent control laws in November

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The ballot initiative would repeal the 1995 Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act.

Cities could pass stricter renter protections if the Costa Hawkins measure passes

California voters will weigh in this fall on whether to expand rent control options in cities around the state.

On Friday, Secretary of State Alex Padilla confirmed that supporters of a voter initiative calling for repeal of the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act had gathered enough signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot.

If passed, the measure would give city leaders new options when establishing or updating rent control policies. Longstanding rules limiting rent control to properties built before February 1995—or earlier, in many cases—would be struck from the books, giving local governments the power to place newer buildings under rent control regulations.

“The time for rent gouging by corporate landlords is coming to an end,” campaign director Damien Goodmon said in a statement.

Should the measure pass, most Californians wouldn’t notice any immediate effects. Statewide, less than 20 cities have rent control regulations, and most local governments would need to pass new ordinances to take advantage of a Costa Hawkins repeal.

But in the long run, the initiative could have significant impacts for both tenants and landlords. Local leaders would be able to establish policies that ensure units remain under rent control even after a tenant moves out—something that Costa Hawkins explicitly prohibits.

Right now, when a tenant moves out of a rent-controlled apartment, property owners can re-list the unit at the market rate. Landlord advocates insist that’s necessary to encourage owners to invest in a building and to keep it in good shape; tenant groups say this policy limits the number of affordable apartments on the market.

If the ballot measure passes, local lawmakers would also be able to put rent control regulations on single-family homes and condominiums, greatly increasing the number of housing units subject to limits on yearly price increases.

The initiative has already drawn the support of key Los Angeles officials, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has promised to explore updates to the city’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance should the initiative pass in November.

The law, which currently limits yearly rent hikes to 3 percent and provides eviction protections to tenants, has received only minor updates since it went into effect nearly 40 years ago.

This isn’t the first time that opponents of Costa Hawkins have sought to repeal the law. An effort to do so in the state legislature failed to make it out of committee hearings earlier this year.

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Best of Curbed LA’s home tours

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An inside look at some of Los Angeles’s most beautiful homes

Curbed’s original home tour series takes you inside residences with great style, big personality, and ineffable soul.

 Laure Joliet

A midcentury modern time capsule brings a design couple closer together

In L.A.’s Echo Park neighborhood, an interior and fashion design duo team up to update a gorgeous midcentury home.

 Sam Frost

Inside Merry Norris’s art-filled sanctuary in the Hollywood Hills

On the eve of Norris being honored by SCI-Arc for transforming LA’s public spaces, we go inside the influential art advocate’s home.

 Sam Frost

In West Hollywood, silver screen glamour meets modern cool

Fashion designer Marcus Austin-Paglialonga lives his best life in an iconic building.

 Sam Frost

Jennifer Maxcy’s ranch home gets a modern makeover

A vintage dealer and stylist remakes a ranch house in the Santa Monica Mountains.

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Los Angeles: What you can buy, what you can rent

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An apartment building in Santa Monica

A curated collection of options for every budget

Curbed Comparisons is a twice per week exploration of properties for rent or for sale at a set dollar amount in various neighborhoods and across Los Angeles.

Los Angeles County is over 4,000 square miles, and Curbed LA has you covered when it comes to renting and buying. From the Westside to the San Fernando Valley, you have plenty of options when it comes to finding the perfect apartment or house.

 Via Zillow
A 580-square-foot North Hollywood studio apartment in this building rents for $2,185/month.

What $2,100 rents you in LA

There’s a one-bedroom apartment in Hollywood, a two-bedroom duplex in Glendale, a studio in North Hollywood, a Silver Lake one-bedroom, and a studio in South Park. Which would you choose?

 Via Brad Holmes, Pacific Union

What $825K buys around LA

There’s a remodeled home with just a single bedroom and single bathroom in Mt. Washington, an updated Burbank abode with two bedrooms and two bathrooms plus a guest house out back, a 1950s ranch house in Glendale with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, a South Park condo with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and a 1920 bungalow in San Pedro with three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms.

 Via Zillow

What $1,500 rents you in LA

A studio apartment in Hollywood, a one bedroom apartment in Glendale, an apartment in Burbank near the airport, a pet-friendly North Hollywood one-bedroom, and a one-bedroom apartment in Pico-Union.

 Via Redfin

What $760K buys around LA

A brand new three-bedroom in Valley Glen, a two-bedroom loft in South Park, three bedrooms in a Pasadena home, a Spanish-style corner home in Hyde Park, or a Del Rey condo with one bedroom and one bathroom.

 Via Zillow

What $2,000 rents you in LA

A two-bedroom in North Hollywood, a two-bedroom in Koreatown, a one-bedroom in in Burbank, a one-bedroom in Pico-Robertson, and a one-bedroom house in Kagel Canyon.

 Via Zillow

What $2,700 rents you in LA

A recently renovated two-bedroom apartment in Hollywood, a Mid-Wilshire two-bedroom apartment with Spanish-Style charm, a North Hollywood two-bedroom house, two-bedroom unit in a midcentury apartment building in Los Feliz, and a two-bedroom unit in an adorable duplex in Glendale.

 Via Anthony Christopher, Coldwell Banker

What $720K buys around LA

A single-family home at the end of a cul-de-sac in Glendale, a three-bedroom home in El Sereno, a two-bedroom less than a mile from the ocean in San Pedro, a spacious home in Tujunga, and a Long Beach home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

 Via Joseph Devarenne, Meredith Wick, Sotheby’s

What $640K buys around LA

A cozy Pasadena bungalow, a Santa Monica condo with a single bedroom and bathroom, a small three-bedroom home on the edge of Mount Washington, a spacious four-bedroom home in Winnetka, and a cavernous condo in Culver City.

 Via Julie Jones Parks, Sotheby’s

What $800K buys around LA

An airy condo in Beachwood Canyon, a homey little two-bedroom in Glendale, a condo in in the heart of Sawtelle, a rustic cottage in Malibu, and a condo in South Park.

Click here to see the complete Curbed Comparisons archive.

25 secret gardens hidden around LA

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The lush little park on the back end of the Walt Disney Concert Hall on Bunker Hill.

From small rooftop parks to large open spaces crisscrossed by trails

Los Angeles has the ocean and the mountains and the desert all within a couple hours’ drive, but there are a good amount of parks large and small that dot the city that make it easy to get a dose of nature whether you’re in Downtown or in the Valley.

Many of these places, especially the larger parks, are better known to locals than people on the other side of town (though few things are really a true secret in the age of Instagram).

We’ve listed 25 of our favorite under-the-radar gardens, parks, and quiet green spaces across town, including quiet rooftops, folk art gardens, and even a serene spot at Union Station. They’re all open to the public in one form or another, though hours, access, and cost vary.

25 secret gardens and green spaces hidden around LA

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From small rooftop parks to large open spaces crisscrossed by trails

Los Angeles has the ocean and the mountains and the desert all within a couple hours’ drive, but there are a good amount of parks large and small that dot the city that make it easy to get a dose of nature whether you’re in Downtown or in the Valley.

Many of these places, especially the larger parks, are better known to locals than people on the other side of town (though few things are really a true secret in the age of Instagram).

We’ve listed 25 of our favorite under-the-radar gardens, parks, and quiet green spaces across town, including quiet rooftops, folk art gardens, and even a serene spot at Union Station. They’re all open to the public in one form or another, though hours, access, and cost vary.

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Elegant Art Deco-influenced home in Los Feliz asks $1.65M

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Notable features include stepped-tray ceilings, built-ins, French doors, and a walled courtyard with outdoor shower and fireplace

It’s often said that those who can, do, while those who can’t, teach, but that certainly wouldn’t apply to Frederick Monhoff.

A versatile architect, artist, and illustrator, Monhoff taught for over two decades at the Otis Art Institute and was an architecture instructor at UCLA. But he was also the designer of numerous buildings throughout Southern California, including the Palm Springs Biltmore and this attractive residence in Los Feliz that’s just hit the market.

Built in 1927, the Art Deco-influenced home was designed around a central courtyard and has three bedrooms and two baths, both of which have been updated, as has the kitchen.

Interior elements of note include stepped-tray ceilings, hardwood floors, built-in shelving, wrought-iron details, an elegant living room fireplace, and French doors and windows.

Within the home’s walled and gated courtyard, you’ll find a fountain with lily pond, an outdoor fireplace, and an outdoor shower. There’s also a private patio off the master bedroom.

On a 3,971-square-foot lot with a detached garage, the property is listed with an asking price of $1.649 million. Open house is scheduled for 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

 Christine Bullard, courtesy of Rosemery Portillo
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First look at Lotus 77, a condo project headed for Little Tokyo

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Lotus 77 will hold 77 one- and two-bedroom condos.

Right across from the Weller Court shopping center

Across from Little Tokyo’s Weller Court, 77 lofts are in the works at Lotus 77, a development from ETCO Homes.

Designed by Bucilla Group Architecture, the condos will be studio, one- and two-bedroom residences measuring between 700 and 1,112 square feet, according to an ETCO representative.

The project is underway now—a cleared lot is visible from First or Astronaut Ellison Onizuka streets—and is scheduled to be complete in mid-2020, ETCO tells Curbed.

Little Tokyo is also working on building a new community center, the Terasaki Budokan, on Los Angeles Street between Second and Third. The building, projected to open in 2020, will hold basketball courts, rooftop gardens, playgrounds, community meeting rooms, and more.

A year after the Budokan is expected to open, the Regional Connector will be up and running in the neighborhood. The project will allow for transfer-free rides between Azusa and Long Beach and East LA and Santa Monica.

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How to pick a neighborhood in Los Angeles

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Washington Boulevard in Culver City.

Twelve things to consider before choosing a new ’hood

For four years now, I’ve lived in East Hollywood, a diverse neighborhood that encompasses Thai Town and Little Armenia, touching trashy-but-fancy Hollywood to the west and lush Los Feliz to the east. It’s not a perfect fit for me. But it’s close, and that feels like a small miracle.

I’m eternally grateful that a subway station is steps away and that Griffith Park is just up the hill. There’s a dentist, a family-owned deli, and a yoga studio on my block. But I’m scared to ride a bike here (there are no bike lanes on any of the thoroughfares), discarded desks and old mattresses line the sidewalks, and Western Boulevard has a long way to go before it’s an inviting place to walk.

Finding the perfect neighborhood is a delicate balance. It’s like putting a puzzle together, and it’s complicated by the soaring cost of housing. But even if you have the means to afford to live wherever you want, every neighborhood has its trade-offs. Below are some of the most important things to take into consideration before putting down roots in Los Angeles.


1. First, know LA’s regions. Los Angeles is made up of more than a half dozen regions, and each of those regions contains many, many smaller neighborhoods and cities. There’s the Westside, Central Los Angeles, Northeast LA, San Fernando Valley (aka the Valley), South Los Angeles, the South Bay, the Verdugos, and the Eastside.

New apartments in Hollywood.

There are others, but these are the predominant regions known informally as LA. They have their own distinct culture, terrain, and even, in some cases, weather. The boundaries are up for debate, but this map from the Los Angeles Times is solid.

2. Second, know the neighborhoods. This is more difficult than memorizing the regions, because there are a lot—at least 472 according to this map, which is inarguably the most accurate (but still not comprehensive) map on the internet.

3. It’s important—for both your sanity and the health of the environment—to pick a ’hood that’s close to where you work. Or close to your main hobbies. Do not fool yourself. You will not live a breezy life in Echo Park while working in Manhattan Beach. Unless you have a forgiving schedule, you will probably not surf every morning if you live in Glendale.

There’s no definitive figure for how close you should get, but a good rule is around 5 miles. Anything over that and your commute is bound to take more than 30 minutes.

4. Do you want to be near public transit? You can pretty much always find a bus route, no matter where you live, but buses in LA can be slow and unreliable. LA’s other public transportation options—the subway and light rail—are more efficient. Living near one will make navigating LA much easier. But those lines and stations are fewer and farther between.

This official rail map from LA’s transit agency, Metro, should be your guiding light. The map also shows bus-rapid transit and rail lines that are under construction now, including the Crenshaw Line, which is scheduled to open in 2019.

The Arroyo Seco in Pasadena.
The LA River in Atwater Village.
Fern Dell in Griffith Park.

5. Do you want to live near the beach or trails? LA can be a nature lover’s dream. Tapping into that is especially easy if you pick a neighborhood near the hills, canyons, mountains, or water.

If getting fresh air is at the top of your priority list, winnow your search to Atwater Village, which hugs the LA River; Pasadena and Altadena, which are at the base of the steep San Gabriel Mountains; or Los Feliz, which is nestled the bottom of the sprawling Griffith Park. Consider any beach city. Target Culver City, because it’s adjacent to beautiful Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area; Echo Park, which is close to hilly Elysian Park; and Topanga Canyon, Pacific Palisades, and Santa Monica, all of which offer convenient access to the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains.

6. If triple digit heat is your hell, stay clear of the Valley. Without ocean breezes to cool it down, the Valley swelters in the summer. The mercury regularly climbs more than 10 degrees higher there than in other parts of LA. (In August, the hottest day at LAX was 93 degrees—compared to 108 degrees at Burbank Airport).

But if you relish steamy summer days and nights, the Valley has good things going for it: delicious but cheap eats, cool museums, diversity, a wildly successful bus line, and more transit projects in the pipeline. Plus, its known among locals as a region where you can get more square footage for your buck. That extra space will come in handy when you need to build a swimming pool to cool off.

7. Do you thrive in a buzzing, big city? For tall buildings packed tightly together, bustling sidewalks, and an active night life, consider Hollywood, Koreatown, and Downtown Los Angeles, namely South Park, the Financial District, and Historic Core. These neighborhoods are also some of the most transit-friendly and most walkable in LA.

A liquor store in North Hollywood.

8. What are the most walkable neighborhoods? Most LA neighborhoods (the Hollywood Hills not included) are at least semi-walkable; you’ll usually find a liquor store, a fruit vendor, and a taco cart in close proximity, no matter where you live. According to WalkScore, some of the most pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods include MacArthur Park, Fairfax, Palms, Long Beach, and Sawtelle.

9. Are you looking for a slower pace? Somewhere where parking is more plentiful, where you might get to know the names of everyone on your block, where there’s an abundance of single-family homes? Long Beach, San Pedro, and much of the Valley will be your best bets—but note that getting into more central parts of Los Angeles will trickier coming from those places.

10. Only select cities have rent control. The main advantage of rent control is that annual rent increases are limited by the city. But there are only four cities in greater LA with rent control: the cities of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and Beverly Hills. That means plenty of other LA cities do not, including Long Beach, Culver City, and Pasadena.

Ace Hotel in Downtown LA.
Hauser and Wirth in the Arts District.

11. Do you want to live in a “hip” neighborhood? One with craft beer, art galleries, high-end boutiques, stylish coffee shops, and “youth culture”? It’s hard to keep up, but the New York Times takes a crack at it every now and again. The newspaper’s latest obsessions? Highland Park, Abbot Kinney, and Koreatown.

12. Where can you get a good deal? That’s relative based on how much you’re able or willing to pay. A good reference point is the median cost of a home ($590,000) and the median cost of rent ($1,360 for a one bedroom). Apartment List tracks price per square foot by neighborhood, and our website publishes weekly round-ups of apartments and homes on the market at a certain price point. But if you’re still debating whether you should even move to LA, the answer is maybe.

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Famed mural to be removed from Parker Center ahead of demolition

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Installed in 1955, the mural depicts a panorama of Los Angeles, from the port to Griffith Observatory

Civic Center’s former LAPD headquarters Parker Center is barreling toward demolition—work is scheduled to begin this fall, the Los Angeles Times reports—but before the building is razed, a unique art piece within the structure will be removed.

The art work is “Theme Mural of Los Angeles,” a 36-foot-long, six-foot-wide mosaic mural that’s been in the building since it opened in 1955.

The six-ton mural by noted sculptor and mosaic artist Joseph L. Young is described as “the panoramic history of Los Angeles.” The mosaic depicts recognizable landmarks of the city—Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Griffith Observatory, City Hall—as well as stylized oil derricks, a freeway interchange, and waterfront.

The mosaic was Young’s first work in a public space, though he went on to design many more, the Times noted in the artist’s 2007 obituary.

The artwork will be removed in one piece this Saturday, according to the artist’s estate. The public is invited to attend the event and watch as the mural leaves the building for good.

Though the mural is being preserved, its future is a little unsure: the large piece does not yet have a permanent new home.

 Courtesy of the Estate of Joseph L. Young

Young was a sculptor and mosaic artist with work spread across Los Angeles, but two of his more prominent pieces remain in Downtown.

Young worked with architect Richard Neutra, who designed the Hall of Records in Downtown, to create an exterior mosaic for the building that “includes a topographic map of the city.”

Young also designed the dynamic, space-age Triforium sculpture in the Los Angeles Mall. That piece is expected to be renovated and relit.

 Courtesy of the Estate of Joseph L. Young
A June 2018 photo of the mural being prepped to move out of Parker Center. Photo by Larry Underhill.

Empty since 2013, when the LAPD moved to a new headquarters, Parker Center is slated to be razed to make way for a new 27-story office tower for city employees. That project, previously projected to cost $438 million, is now expected to cost about $700 million, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

A new report out from the Chief Administrative Officer says the cause for the discrepancy is that the earlier estimate did not include “soft costs,” like design work or project management.

 Courtesy of the Estate of Joseph L. Young
Young’s daughters Cecily and Leslie with the mural. Photo by Larry Underhill.
 Courtesy of the Estate of Joseph L. Young
Parker Centermagicredshoe/Creative Commons
Parker Center is scheduled to begin demolition this fall.

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Adorable Eagle Rock one-bedroom with detached studio seeks $649K

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The living room of the house. Photos by Charmaine David.

Vintage tile bathroom, wood-paneled living room, and a terraced garden

Chill, family-friendly Eagle Rock is a great place to live, and this house would make a lovely place to hang your hat.

The one-bedroom home measures a cozy 766 square feet, but features a formal dining room, a wood-paneled living room, built-ins, a tile-fronted fireplace, and a spacious, updated kitchen. The sole bedroom is bright and ample, and the dwelling’s lone bathroom is a charming vintage number with cool teal tile.

A terraced garden separates the main house from the detached studio. With pitched ceilings, a wall of windows, rock accents, and space for a bed, the little studio could easily serve as a guest bedroom or a home office.

Last sold in 2015 for $585,000, the house is now seeking $649,000.

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Late-career Donald Wexler asking $4.5M in the Hollywood Hills

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Designed in collaboration with Henry Buckingham as a live-work space for Wexler’s son

Though primarily known for his steel-and-glass midcentury moderns in Palm Springs, Donald Wexler didn’t restrict his work to the desert. In 2008, the visionary designer collaborated with architect Henry Buckingham on this live-work space in the Hollywood Hills for Wexler’s son, art photographer Glen Wexler.

Located in the Hollywood Knolls about a mile northwest of the Hollywood Reservoir, the Brutalist-style property contains two structures connected by a sky-bridge. Within the compound’s 6,020 square feet are five bedrooms, six bathrooms, a formal dining room, a media room, multiple offices and lounges, and a studio/gallery big enough to roller-skate in.

Notable interior features include 16-foot ceilings, polished concrete and hardwood floors, two fireplaces, professional-grade media equipment, skylights, clerestory windows, and sliding glass doors.

Outside, there’s a solar-heated saltwater pool and fire pit, plus two spacious roof decks, one with an infinity spa and waterfall, connected via the sky bridge.

On a 10,099-square-foot lot, the property is listed with an asking price of $4.495 million.

 
 
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