From the Globe and Mail.
Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) has gone through an extraordinary transformation in the past decade, with its population tripling. A high-density residential core has emerged with a population of 53,000 – mainly the 23- to 44-year-old crowd – driving a concomitant demand for commercial real estate development.
The area has a proud history as epicentre of the Wild West as well as the birthplace of Hollywood, with historic theatres along Broadway recently refurbished.
Its first commercial boom came in the 1920s and 1930s, and DTLA produced iconic skyscrapers after a 1957 ordinance lifted height restrictions on buildings.
But it fell into decline for several decades as suburban-style developments lured consumers out of the city centre. Its renaissance began in the late 1990s, with a new bylaw allowing for adaptive reuse, culminating in its current boom.
The city, whose 1970s and 1980s no man’s land of empty buildings and deserted streets once heralded the death of cities, is now becoming a new model for how to densify downtown historic cores, with revitalized residential, business and arts communities at the forefront of the new DTLA.