Downtown LA: high vacancy rates and catastrophic homelessness


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/09/18/skid-row.html


#2

Hold up.

This includes up to several months of free rent and free parking for a year

They charge tenants for parking?


#3

They do it here in Seattle as well.


#4

Yeah, here in the bay area, if your building has parking, you often have to rent a parking spot for a couple hundred (at least) a month, on top of rent.


#5

Sheesh what a racket. I suppose it makes sense is more densely packed urban areas but i can’t imagine having to rent my own parking spot on top of my usual rent.


#6

Get a hellava deal, but then you have to live there.


#7

Here in my small Midwestern city, the little apartment building I lived in had three off-street parking spots. Two went with the crappiest apartments, to make them less crappy, and the third could be yours for $50 a month. Seems like a fair price to me.


#8

Sheesh what a racket

Good summary of US urban real estate market in general.


#9

Not just America… probably “prime” urban real estate everywhere. Vancouver has a similar issue with vacant condos (owned by absent Chinese owners who don’t want to rent them out) and homelessness.


#10

yeah, i’ve heard the london market is serving a similar shit scheme.


#11

It’s kind of a vicious circle in downtown L.A. All these new apartments, but no-one with money wants to live there because of the homeless who can’t afford one of the few remaining SRO rooms, let alone an apartment. And so we get brand-new vacant apartment buildings and refurb lofts a block (or less) away from large tent-and-box encampments.

The larger city and the state bears some responsibility for this situation, too. Downtown and especially skid row have been used for years as a dumping ground for recently released convicts and discharged indigent hospital patients with mental issues, and they haven’t quite gotten the memo about developers’ desire to turn downtown L.A. into the next London/Vancouver/Manhattan/Toronto speculative bubble.


#12

I repeatedly hear/see from Youtubers, actors and the like that live in California that LA is kind of a pit. I’m sure its not just homeless people but just the sheer concentration of weirdness and crazy. Reminds me of downtown Las Vegas, you really want to avoid downtown as much as possible if you’re a local.


#13

In Bostons nicest parts, parking spaces go for 7 figures, even in the close-in suburbs they’re worth 200-500 a month.


#14

Except that the London city gov’t looked into that and decided it’s not accurate, just talk for the most part, vastly not the case.

Basically just bigotry. So be careful. It’s your mouth saying it now.


#15

In theory, the economy exists to serve the people who live in it. In practice, it serves those who own it.


#16

How soon before someone proposes to subsidize the landlords so that they won’t have to continue to drop prices to increase the demand?

“Won’t someone think of the economic dislocation of the job creators?” /s


#17

I lived there for years and visit regularly. It’s not somewhere I want to live again, but I can see the appeal, especially if one can afford to live in a nice neighbourhood*. The city has a fascinating history, lots of things to do (culture, sports, hiking), and great universities. Downtown in particular has a great art and food and design scene for the creative class types, even though it’s offset by the homelessness, squalor, and the presence of a bunch of prisons. I don’t mind weirdness and crazy, as long as it’s not aggressive and scary pooping-in-the-streets weirdness and crazy (like downtown San Francisco).

[* this usually implies being an old person who’s wealthy or bought decades ago, top people in the media industries, or a scattering of Silicon Beach types]


#18

duely noted!


#19

I’m amazed how much the homeless population in downtown LA has grown over the past several years. There used to be encampments in very particular locations, but they’re now spread all over the place. It’s tremendously sad that there’s no political/social will to do something about it.


#20

Massive developments with no provision for affordable housing have been fast tracked through City Council (less public input, absence of hearings in the affected neighborhood etc.).

This is especially so for developments adjacent to the rail lines as the powers that be hope this will somehow alleviate auto traffic even though the new Expo rail is already pretty jammed even while running every six minutes.

One positive thing is we’re seeing a lot more mixed use design, rather than isolating huge shopping areas from huge housing areas. But instead of forcing mixed income, the city put a guilt-beating proposition on the ballot and it worked, for $2B of tax dollars to be poured into housing for the homeless - horribly timed as it is competing in a peak market, and coming a year or so after the city auctioned off dozens of unused properties.

On the west side, frustrated drivers to/from Silicon Beach (Venice) are now freaking out over traffic calming implementations which are necessary to save lives (pedestrian and bike deaths have skyrocketed in recent years).