Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Downtown Los Angeles Over Hyped

Owning your own home is America’s unique recipe for avoiding revolution and promoting pseudo-equality at the same time. To keep citizens puttering in their yards instead of sputtering on the barricades, the government has gladly deprived itself of billions in tax revenues by letting home “owners” deduct mortgage interest payments.
Florence King, author

Traffic around southern California is always bad. If you happened to hit an open freeway consider yourself lucky. With that in mind, we decided to partake in the Downtown Living Open House this past weekend that displayed adaptive reuse conversions of historic office buildings into loft-style apartments and condos, to new-construction high-rise luxury condominiums and apartments. We had fantasies of no longer having to listen to morning traffic reports and having a Manhattan type of lifestyle, but it’s not to be.

We were sorely disappointed. There were 13 open house sites. Only an apartment complex had anything available to show similar to a model. The others thought it would be a thrill for people to go to the 17th floor or higher just to see the view and imagine the bare concrete floors completed.

Prices for these places started at $400 to $450 per square foot, which did not include parking or association fees. For 1,823-square-feet condo that requires sharing the floor with up to 12 other lofts/condos one will pay approximately $820,000.

This may change when the final product is completed, but we noticed that the windows in the bare floor example did not open. Who would want to live in a place without the option of fresh air? It would seem like living in an aquarium. These did not have balconies either. Also, we noticed from the floor plan brochure that all the bathrooms were lined up next to each other, so odds are good that you may hear your neighbor’s plumbing in a best case scenario and worse case hear them showering or being sick.

I found the event and the concept to be a huge bust and a waste of money for me. If the downtown Los Angeles’ revitalization project comes to pass, I will be very surprised. I guess I will just have to keep dealing with the traffic as best I can.


Janet said...

The crowdedness, the pretension and the hype. In these ways, California and NJ are alike. Other than that, they are worlds apart

panthergirl said...

Ugh...sounds awful. In Manhattan, an apartment that size would be more like $2MM, but at least you'd be in MANHATTAN. ;)

Hector Vex said...

I think the best way to revitalize Los Angeles is to dump it into the ocean with the rest of California.

Chandira said...

Eee... that's a lot of money, CA or NY, for a concrete box with no freakin' windows that open.. Don't do it. No wonder people jump out of windows. (Hey, maybe that's why they don't open).
I'm glad things aren't that insane in Seattle just yet. Theyr're catching up though, 500G+ for a 3bdrm fixer-upper in my neighbourhood..

Chandira said...

I'm with you Hector..

On The Mark said...

Hector and Chandira -- I take offense. Please apologize.

On The Mark said...

I should have added, "As a Californian..."

Jack's Shack said...

They are just jealous of paradise. Downtown has a ways to go, but I am optimistic about it.

What we need is someone with money to just make it their issue. Keep on building nicer places, work on transportation and create activities during non-business hours for the downtown area.

Chandira said...

Oh, OK, I admit it.. I love LA. Really. And Berkely. And our Sanctuary which happens to be in northern CA. So, I'd like to moe to LA one day..
I think I fell in love with it when I hung out in the bar of the Sunset Marquis one night.