The Real Deal Los Angeles

Say what? DTLA landlords are offering free rent

It's supply and demand: more than 3,700 new units hit the market in the last 18 months and more are coming

August 04, 2016 12:00PM

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Eigth grand bedroom dtla

A bedroom at one of the apartments in the Eighth & Grand project

Forget about free lunch — some Downtown Los Angeles landlords are now are giving out lodging for free.

Because of the neighborhood’s influx of new units, landlords are competing to woo tenants with concessions such as a month of free rent or a year of free parking.

At Carmel Partners’ Eighth & Grand apartments for instance, residents can get up to five weeks of free rent and 12 months of free parking, its website advertises. Prospective tenants can also get a month off rent at the newly opened Hanover Olympic apartments on Olive Street and Sares-Reis Group’s 240-unit Wakaba LA in Little Tokyo, the L.A. Times reported.

And it all comes down to supply and demand. Over 3,700 new apartments became available in the past 18 months alone, 6,260 are under construction and thousands more are in the pipeline, according to Transwestern data. Downtown is at risk of becoming oversupplied, as The Real Deal first reported.

“Landlords don’t have the leeway to push rents as they did in the past,” CoStar analyst Steve Basham told the Times.

Developers have been so successful with pushing projects because of DTLA’s high-density zoning accessibility and the pro-development community of existing residents that is a far cry from other development-wary neighborhoods and cities in the county.

Downtown is still young as a residential market. More than 500,000 people visit DTLA on any weekday, but there are currently only 36,000 units and 61,600 residents. [LAT]Cathaleen Chen