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With more than 9,000 units added in the last 10 years and thousands more on the way, Downtown Los Angeles is experiencing an unprecedented condominium boom. The Loft Exchange realtor Bill Cooper says that the city is in the middle of a five-year growth cycle, “In another three years, most of the condos under construction will be coming on the market, and things will change again." For now, those on the lookout for investment properties have an opportunity to snag a great deal. Pick your favourite from the following five recommendations, each guaranteed to be worth your while.
The newest building to open its doors in Downtown is South Park’s Ten50. It’s 25 storeys of boutique residences, looking down at trendy neighbourhood additions Whole Foods and the Ace Hotel. The largest penthouses span more than 3,500sqft across two storeys and command a $4 million (S$5.58 million) price tag. With 60 per cent of units already sold, the first owners are taking advantage of the 13,000-sqft indoor-cum-outdoor lounge. Called The Fifty, it comes complete with plunge pool and yoga garden. The cherry on top is a drone landing pad, allowing residents to coordinate drone deliveries to the rooftop via smartphone.
1050 South Grand Avenue
2. Eastern Columbia Building
The pre-war, Art Deco Eastern Columbia Building is a Downtown icon built in 1930. It was then converted to spacious, one-of-a-kind condominiums in 2006. The building’s historic monument status means property owners receive a tax incentive from the Mills Act. This is a local ordinance that encourages historic preservation. Most units command more than US$700 (S$975) psf and prices are still rising. Although the Historic Core is not the most expensive district in Downtown, new construction in South Park is continuing to boost the Eastern Columbia’s prices.
“[Because of construction further south], it is now a very centrally-located property, and that’s affected appreciation a lot," says Cooper. His most expensive listing has doubled in value since it last changed hands in 2009.
Eastern Columbia Building
849 S. Broadway
3. Evo Lofts
Straddling the border of South Park and LA Live, 23-storey Evo Lofts debuted in 2008. “In terms of finishes, it’s on par with the Ritz-Carlton, but has more of a community feel," says Cooper of the building’s hardwood floors, wood cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and designer fixtures. Along with a fifth-floor pool deck and 24/7 concierge, the LED-certified building also has environmental features. For example, there’s extensive bike parking and a recycling centre. The building’s largest units, between 2,000 and 3,000sqft, sell for between $2 and $4 million (S$2.79 to S$5.58 million).
1155 S. Grand Avenue
4. Ritz-Carlton Residences at LA Live
Soaring above the Los Angeles skyline, the Ritz-Carlton Residences at LA Live sits atop an entertainment complex and the Staples Center. The Ritz-Carlton’s 27th to 52nd floors are devoted to 1,500- to 4,000-sq. ft. condos, priced up to US$8 million (S$11.16 million). They come finished with Gaggenau appliances, hardwood floors, and views of the Hollywood sign and Pacific Ocean. Perfect for the investment buyer, residents can take advantage of the hotel’s five-star service. This includes 24-hour valet, concierge, and complimentary breakfast. The Ritz’s Wolfgang Puck restaurant, WP24, and a rooftop pool on the 26th floor are all part of the package.
Ritz-Carlton Residences at LA Live
900 W Olympic Blvd
5. Biscuit Company Lofts
An Arts District local gem, Biscuit Company Lofts is strictly for those looking to spend time in the neighbourhood. The seven-storey block was built in 1925 as Nabisco’s West Coast headquarters before being converted to residences in 2007. Its historical status also qualifies residents for tax savings under the Mills Act. Lofty ceilings, open floor plans, a 75-foot-long swimming pool and its quiet location add to desirability for residents. Listings for 3,000-sqft penthouses are rare, but even 600sqft shoeboxes get snapped up for US$500,000 (S$697,000).
Biscuit Company Lofts
1850 Industrial Street