High-rise life is a tough sell in LA

There's one development in particular that showcases the struggle

Oct.October 22, 2017 10:57 AM

Century Towers loom in the background. (mederndepe, Flickr, front/Tyler Merbler, back)

LA developers’ struggle to get Angelenos to buy high-rise condos can be exemplified by one development in particular: Century City.

The 180-acre neighborhood was built in the 1960s and its first two high-rise buildings, the Century Towers, were designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect I.M. Pei. The development was intended to herald in new, modern living in an apartment instead of a sprawling drive-in, drive-out mansion for Angelenos, and it sort of worked — but only for celebrities, as the Wall Street Journal reported.

A handful of stars including Ronald Reagan, Burt Lancaster, Mattel co-founders Ruth and Elliot Handler, and Michael Douglas, have made Century City home over the years, and today it continues to be a home-base for celebrities like Nobu Matsuhisa and Matthew Perry.

Its roster of star-studded residents — past and present — have been a source of marketing gold for developers as investment pours into the neighborhood, but hesitancy to buy into high-rise life remains.

The neighborhood’s sales director Mary Ann Osborn told the Journal potential buyers are so nervous they ask for up to 14 showings before even making an offer.

[WSJ] — E.K. Hudson

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