Why Some Developers Choose Hollywood Over DTLA

August 16, 2017

Why Some Developers Choose Hollywood Over DTLA

August 15, 2017 | Kelsi Maree Borland | GlobeSt.com

Hollywood and Downtown L.A. are two houses, both alike in dignity, in fair Los Angeles, where we lay our scene—but are they really enemies, competing for investor and developer attention? The two submarkets are nearly neighbors and both are going through a significant renaissance, with substantial redevelopment—here, we’ll give Downtown Los Angeles the win—and a dramatic resurgence of retail and office tenants—here, we’ll give it to Hollywood. We hear a lot about why Downtown L.A. makes sense for investors and developers, so we asked one developer why Hollywood was the more attractive option. For him, it came down to accessibility and culture.

“For us, it makes more sense from and urban and pedestrian landscape,” Ron Barnes, a principal at Vine Street Advisors, tells GlobeSt.com. “Downtown Los Angeles has larger, longer blocks and they aren’t has full with amenities. In Hollywood, there are gems in every corner of Hollywood. There are little hole-in-the-wall places alongside major players, and there is a great mix of institutional a well as entrepreneurial investment in the soft programming. It is all in a comprehensive package with things to do every 20 feet. In Downtown Los Angeles, once you at one place, you have to really walk a good distance to get to your next destination.”

While Hollywood has more density, it also makes it a more difficult place to develop. Barnes got involved in the W Hollywood residences, a 133-unit project, before the crash and is delivering them now. While there is certainly a dearth of residential supply in the market, he says that regulations and limited land make it a difficult place to develop, unlike Downtown Los Angeles. “Downtown Los Angeles has larger city blocks, so it is easier to take down a large parcel and build up,” he adds.

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John E. Moriarty, ChFC
December 2015
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