Friday, December 08, 2006

The gentrification of downtown LA

Lately there's been a flood of downtown buldings that have gone from empty office space to "lofts". Now, as an ex-New Yorker of a (ahem) certain age, I have a very narrow definition of what a loft is. A loft is former manfacturing space that enterprising semi-ex-hippies carve out into space to be gallery for their art and living space. They sell with "fixture fees" that cover the cost of putting in plumbing. "Lofts" are middling sized office space repackaged as open apartments that the developers are not willing to spend the money on drywall to actually carve up into anything as conventional as, say bedrooms. These "lofts" have sprung up all over the Historic Core area of Los Angeles at prices that make me wince: is there are reason that I would pay the better part of a million dollars (like I have it) to live in the Higgins Building at Second and Main, with the construction of the new Police headquarters across the street starting every weekday at 7 and with the nearest grocery store in South Pasadena when a two bedroom condo at the corner of Palm and Beverly firmly in 90210 and two blocks from both a Ralph's and Bristol Farms costs the same?

Je ne think so pas.

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