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L.A. Mixes Grit With Glitz in $7 Billion Downtown Revamp

Near streets so gritty they were used as the backdrop for a shootout in the next “Fast & Furious” movie, million-dollar condos and $38 racks of lamb beckon the urban pioneers of Los Angeles.

The rehab of warehouses and factories in the Arts District is the latest wave in a revival transforming the core of the second-largest U.S. city. Since 2011, about $7 billion has been poured into downtown. A decade ago its most prominent residents were the homeless. Now condos sell for a median of $523.36 a square foot -- more than in Beverly Hills. Alma, Bon Appetit magazine’s best new U.S. restaurant in 2013, is a few blocks from the convention center the city plans to renovate.