It’s no longer a secret that Downtown Los Angeles is one of the hottest new urban areas to live, work or hang out in the entire country. This can easily be seen by the property value in the city and surrounding areas. Making LA one of the best real estate investments in 2018.
There are numerous immediate benefits to being in Downtown Los Angeles, from easy access to all the sports at the Staples Center, to a straight shot via the Interstate 5 freeway to Disney World’s older brother Disneyland, to the arts district that has some of the hottest restaurants and bars in America. Thanks to the finance of Chinese capital over the past few years, the entire, surprisingly large and relatively unexplored industrial areas around L.A.’s downtown are all perfectly primed to become the next great neighborhood in the city. The question, especially for all the commercial investors out there is, as always, which one?
What looks most promising at the moment is the area between the old downtown and the city’s Chinatown neighborhood to the East, just south of Echo Park and Dodger Stadium and nearby Lincoln Heights. It’s also bordered by the State Historic Park and L.A. River. Here, there are already plans for an urban winery known as Angeleno Wines, as well as Majordomo, widely considered by everyone in L.A. as the hottest new restaurant in town. The 5,500 square foot Highland Park Brewery is already setting up shop in the area, as is a concert venue called Baby’s All Right, a Brooklyn-style concert hall.
There’s also the fact that Chinatown itself has gotten a bit of a makeover recently, with numerous non-Chinese restaurants like Howlin Ray’s Hot Nashville Chicken, Chego a Mexican-Korean fusion joint and Little Jewel’s New Orleans-style Cajun food. A one hundred million dollar condo project called Blossom Plaza is under construction and 24 million dollars is being metaphorically poured into the nearby L.A. River, which was previously a dumping ground for trash and haven for gangs and homeless, and will now be turned into an esplanade with bars, condos, and restaurants overlooking it.
What also makes this one of the best places to invest in Downtown L.A. is perhaps the one detail real estate investors will look at first—the price. Cost of a property is, at the moment, fifty percent lower than the popular Downtown arts district. The median sales price in the area has risen a jaw-dropping 74 percent in the last year alone, up $265,000 total. The average price per square foot is up from $432 a year ago to nearly $711 now—though that doesn’t mean all the deals have been bought up in the area, quite yet. Getting in now may yield one of the best investments in the wildly lucrative L.A. real estate market.
However, if the current rise in price per square foot in the Chinatown area makes it feel like the ship has already sailed, there are other areas nearby Downtown worth delving into as well, especially for commercial real estate investors. The area is known as University Park and has had peaks and troughs in its market over the past few years. However, there are still ample deals to be had, due to higher crime rates in the area and lack of commercial investment throughout.
Yet thanks to the Metro Expo line, that now runs from downtown to the Santa Monica Pier, the area is quickly beginning to clean up. Not only is it a short train ride or drive to the heart of downtown, but there is the nearby University of Southern California campus and it’s 45,000 students, for which the neighborhood gets its name. In short, as mentioned about other ideal downtown areas for investment, the area is primed for a revival.
The 2028 Summer Olympics
And what may be most intriguing, for long-term investors, is the promise of the Olympics coming to Los Angeles, with the vast majority of the events being held within the neighborhood of University Park. While that’s a decade away, it offers the promise of a tremendous amount of development and appreciation in the area for many years to come.
And these are only two of the hottest neighborhoods in downtown Los Angeles at the moment. Any savvy real estate investor understands the benefit of nearby areas. There are undoubtedly possibilities for the next big thing, right next door.