L.A. Builds Up and (Possibly) Underground

Chris Palmeri

Los Angeles' energetic mayor Antonio Villaraigosa trotted out a telling statistic at an event inuagurating the city's newest office tower, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, last week. Villaraigosa said that in the past 17 years--as long as his son had been alive--only two new high-rise buildings had opened in L.A. Today, there are over 80 in the works.
As high-rises go, 2000 Avenue of the Stars isn't even that big. It's just twelve stories and it was built on the site of the former ABC Television headquarters. Still it took the building's owner, JP Morgan Chase, ten years to get the project done. Located in L.A.'s Century City neighborhood, the building now houses the offices of Creative Artists Agency, the talent agency, and the Annenberg Foundation.
Obviously much has changed in real estate in the past ten years. Economics are now favoring new construction, particular on the residential side. Mayor Villaraigosa said 2000 Avenue of the Stars represented the future of traffic-plagued L.A. It's a neighborhood where people can live, work and shop, although Century City will always more car-centric than say Lower Manhattan or Chicago's Inner Loop.
The Mayor also emphasized his support for the "Subway to Sea," an extension of the city's existing Red Line from downtown all the way to the beach in Santa Monica. It's a multi-billion dollar, decade long project, still in the just-talking-about stages. But as the developers of 2000 Avenue of the Stars have proven, long-term projects can come to fruition.

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