I'm like a kid in a candy store when I'm in Downtown Los Angeles. I grew up in Southern California and I remember what Downtown used to be like. It was a mess. The only reason a guy like me would head down there was for traffic court… not that I ever got a speeding ticket in my life.
Now, Downtown is like my playground. I actually feel like a kid headed to recess when I'm on my way there. The amount of vision and commitment that has gone into Staples Center, LA Live, Nokia Theater, the Grand Avenue Project, Disney Hall, Grand Park… it's just beautiful.
I'm a fan of Manhattan and Downtown LA is starting to have a little of that metropolitan feel. But LA is different too. It's warm, most of the year. You can stand on one corner and be in four unique cultural influences simultaneously. In one city block you can find food from around the globe, visit galleries with unique visions, see architecture that spans generations, and discover new shops from ambitious entrepreneurs.
There are currently over seventy-five major development projects happening in Downtown right now.
The football stadium is coming. Seven new hotels are going into construction. Over 5,000 new apartments and condo's are being built. It's a crucible of creativity, a hotbed for progress.
Getting the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance passed in 1999 was the first big step in reinventing downtown. The whole "Live, Work, Play" movement kicked off and dozens of classic, undernourished buildings were converted to mixed use with a primary focus on housing.
Have you been Downtown recently and seen some of the incredible work people are doing? Like most of LA, it's beauty is on the inside, behind closed and unmarked doors.
I remember getting a tour inside Disney Hall before the doors opened to the public and feeling my heart racing, my blood pumping, because I was so excited about such a groundbreaking asset becoming a permanent part of the Downtown skyline.
I'll update this page frequently with my latest crush on Downtown LA, and with snippets of my vision for this vibrant, pulsing heart of our home.
I'd also love to hear from you. What do you love about Downtown? (No haters, please.)