Editor’s note: First off the block

In many ways, the City of Angels is reaching for the stars — not just on the sidewalks, but through the rapidly ascending skyline as well.

Developers are building projects that are taller, bigger and more amenity-rich than ever before. All-cash deals are being cemented with foreign buyers for gleaming new luxury condos, while thousands of new hotel rooms fill the pipeline.

And yet, and yet… dealmakers and financiers are beginning to raise questions. Do Angelenos actually want to live in DTLA condos? Is the L.A. market clamoring for too many new hotel rooms, storefronts and offices to open within the next two years? Some of the market pros who’ve been through a few cycles are starting to whisper that this all looks a bit frothy. Check out our cover story on page 20.

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For the time being, at least, foreign investors are propelling the real estate market to new heights. Many of the largest and most extravagant development projects are being financed by Asian investors. Metropolis — at 2 million square feet, the biggest project in DTLA — is being built by Chinese development firm Greenland USA. One Beverly Hills, a 900,000-square-foot mixed-use development, comes to us from Chinese firm Wanda Group. The Wilshire Grand, which will become the tallest building in the West when it opens in 2017, is backed by Korean Air. See page 38.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has streamlined development and encouraged foreign investment. See page 12. As Christopher Martin, the architect behind the Wilshire Grand, says, L.A. is “open for business.” See page 42. And just so you don’t think we’re all work and no play, we cover celebrity home swapping — including the Playboy mansion’s jaw-dropping $100 million price tag. See pages 8 and 64.

All of these fascinating stories and more are revealed in the pages of The Real Deal’s first Southern California Market Report — a big, glossy magazine befitting the  L.A. real estate news that we cover. Enjoy our inaugural issue.