UPDATED, Feb. 14, 9:15 a.m.: In 2016, developers filed 281 new projects with Los Angeles city planning, calling for nearly 36,000 residential or hotel units. Hollywood, Koreatown, and Downtown L.A. took the cake as the submarkets with the most ground-up residential and hotel projects in the pipeline, The Real Deal‘s analysis of city planning documents found.
The three submarkets allow more density than many other parts of Los Angeles. But there may be another common denominator to the popularity of these three markets: public transit.
“With the expansion of the Metro, you see whole corridors being revitalized,” commercial broker Gary Weiss of L.A. Realty Partners told TRD.
Other factors are jobs per resident and a growth in the number of residents, said Kitty Wallace of Colliers.
“This is what international investors look at when they want to put money in a submarket, jobs along with positive momentum,” she said.
In Hollywood, multifamily demand is high. The neighborhood hit 96.2 percent of its residential capacity at the beginning of December 2016, according to Rainmaker Insights. Developers have been tracking the low vacancy closely. There were 22 ground-up projects filed last year, comprising 3,696 total apartments, condo units, hotel rooms, and live-work units. Among them is Onni Group’s 429-unit tower planned for 1360 North Vine Street.
The Canadian developer has been prolific in L.A. in recent years. In DTLA, it’s gearing up for the redevelopment of the L.A. Times complex, an undertaking that entails the demolition of two structures to make way for a two-tower complex with a total of 1,127 units. The new buildings will rise to 37 stories and 53 stories.
In addition to Onni’s Times Mirror Square redevelopment, the greater Downtown area saw 44 other new projects proposed in 2016, including SunCal’s enormous 6AM development in the Arts District. If approved, it will add 1,736 units, two hotels, creative offices, and 23,000 square feet of public space to what some consider L.A.’s hippest area.
To its west, Miami-based Crescent Heights hopes to build a tower of its own — a 714-foot, 800-unit condo complex at 1045 South Olive Street.
Lincoln Property Company, rarely excluded from the mix, is teaming up with a local winemaker to build a 920-unit mixed-use complex in Chinatown. The project would span more than 1.1 million square feet, including 21,406 square feet of commercial space.
Last but not least, the gold — as well as the underdog award — goes to Koreatown, with 48 case filings in 2016, accounting for 14 percent of total units filed.
Koreatown development is synonymous with Jamison Services. The longtime office landlord is behind two of the district’s biggest projects: a pair of 23-story buildings at 3600 Wilshire Boulevard and a 644-unit highrise just down the street at 2908 Wilshire Boulevard. Jamison is by far Koreatown’s biggest property owner, but also its most active. Between September and November, the developer filed plans for at least seven projects, TRD reported.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said multifamily was slumping on the East Coast. In fact, multifamily markets in many East Coast cities are thriving, especially in the mid-market bracket.