By Matt Ahrens

I recently attended investor meetings in New York and, like every time I visit, I came away amazed and energized by the city’s real estate market. Our industry appreciates that New York is unlike any other place in the world. Just look at these under-construction condo towers:

As the home of Wall Street and many investment management firms , the City has its own unique identity, history, demographic, and architecture.

Los Angeles, on the other hand, is a different coast with its own unique conditions and strategic advantages. The City of Angels has much to be proud of.

I speak for both Rising and myself when I say that we are extremely optimistic and motivated for our ventures in 2015. Since the Great Recession ended, the national real estate market continues to improve. Although pricing in San Francisco and New York has reached pre-recession highs, the Los Angeles market still has room to grow.

Our company is a real estate firm focused on markets throughout Coastal California. We strongly believe that Coastal California continues to be an incredible place to invest in real estate because of its:

-       Entrepreneurial spirit
-       Intrinsic benefits (weather, parks, natural beauty)
-       Diversity, international trade, and demographics
-       Market liquidity and size

Just look at these Real Capital Analytics stats:

Coastal California had $25 billion(!) in office transactions in 2014. Leading the pack was San Francisco at No. 2 on the list, while Los Angeles ranked No. 4. Staying on top of these markets has definitely kept our team excited and engaged.

The economy is clearly accelerating up and down the coast of California, and although places like Santa Monica, Venice, and Playa Vista have proved to be a successful home for startups, we have found that huge swaths of amenities, restaurants, activities, money, and capital from investors are specifically being filtered into Downtown Los Angeles. Downtown’s renaissance and growing market is spurred by promising features for upcoming business opportunities, especially for tech tenants, who can easily connect to the global fiber optic hub at One Wilshire. Additionally, the increase in public transportation routes will be a huge game changer in the next 5-10 years furthering Downtown’s status asthe most connected region in the Greater Los Angeles area.

At the heart of it though, we’re focused on solving the needs of the businesses that call our buildings home – that is our goal when we acquire properties.

When deciding whether or not to underwrite a property, we ask ourselves: can we do something to make this a better environment for not only the tenants but for the community at large?

In Pasadena, we were able to build a community of tech entrepreneurs with our anchor tenant Cross Campus, a co-working space that facilitates community through programming and events.

Photo: Cross Campus, Pasadena

Photo: Cross Campus, Pasadena

We are taking this approach with our newest acquisition in Downtown LA, Figueroa Courtyard. The low-rise office space is unique to downtown and will be an incredible place to work.

We’re working every day to find ways to serve the needs of the growing businesses in coastal markets from San Diego all the way up to San Francisco.