By Chris Rising
For most people, life in Los Angeles is synonymous with traffic. Year after year, LA tops “Cities with the Worst Traffic” lists, the most recent instance being just last month, as reported by Business Insider. Residents know that traveling across town at any time of day is a gamble as far as commute times go, and getting a hotel room for a morning meeting in Santa Monica is not unheard of for a business owner based outside of downtown. Los Angeles is changing drastically because of traffic and is showing no signs of slowing down.
At the center of this change is DTLA. We’ve already seen a steady influx of residents into this area, along with an increase in the number of residential units that have come online (38,120 in 2016, up from 11,626 in 1999). This is largely due to DTLA’s development boom in recent years. According to DCBID’s 2016 Annual Report, the number of DTLA residents has grown from 18,700 in 1999 to 65,185 in 2016. This newfound population density means that mass transit will become an ever-increasing priority, especially as LA welcomes more and more transplants each year, particularly in tech and creative industries. LA Weekly reported in August that more New Yorkers have relocated to Los Angeles in the last 12 months than vice versa. And much like San Francisco, tech companies are establishing offices here and flourishing. But it’s not all work and no play, as we know best here. With more than 800 businesses in DTLA alone, bars, retail, and nightlife around the city are also thriving.
L.A. Metro has worked diligently to keep up with the growing population by expanding its rail system, opening the Expo Line expansion to Santa Monica in 2016, which allows riders to travel from DTLA all the way to Main Street. And the work is far from over; Metro currently has 40 projects in the works, including expansion to the Purple and Gold Lines, as well as construction of the new Crenshaw/LAX Line. Although mass transit construction projects take years to complete, we have already seen an increase in ridership over the last few years.
In addition to population growth and development to meet increased demand for residential and office units, technology is also playing a major role in LA’s changing landscape. The workforce is no longer limited to the traditional daily 9-to-5 commute to an office, though the need for physical office space remains constant. People’s habits and lifestyles are evolving, and workplace etiquette has reflected these changes. Rather than driving to the office for a 45-minute meeting, video conferencing is becoming an increasingly popular option. Whether it’s working remotely some of the time or joining a video conference call, this is a stark contrast to what was considered acceptable as few as 15 years ago.
The value of mass transit does not go unnoticed at Rising. We seek out buildings near metro and bus stations so that our tenants have easy access to public transport. Our mission is to create great places to work, and we believe that being able to get around with ease is a significant part of that.