Much excitement is being garnered around the many projects that are reinventing areas of downtown Los Angeles, and now one more is in the works that will potentially transform the concrete landmark known as the Los Angeles river. If local real estate executives and city planners get their way, the revitalized river corridor will be home to the newest development featuring artist studios, retail shops and apartments with the most exquisite views of the city skyline.
Despite being somewhat of a concrete eyesore, the Los Angeles River is a local icon. It was built in the 1930s in order to provide a run-off area for flood waters that were running rampant throughout Hollywood in the 1920s and ’30s and has been featured in many famous movies such as “Freaky Friday,” “Grease,” “Chinatown” and “Terminator 2: Judgement Day.” However, over the years the runoff site has become less and less necessary with a once-gushing flow of water being reduced to a mere trickle.
Kickstarting potential development plans is the initiative brought on by the Army Corps to restore 11 miles of the river north of downtown Los Angeles to a more natural state. This project aims to create more of a wetland environment with trees and grass. Officials would also like to incorporate plenty of parks and playing fields, much like the renovation previously done on Griffith Park.
“Some pretty dramatic work will have to be done,” says Henry Cisneros, a former San Antonio mayor, now chairman of the investment firm CityView, which worked with Blackstone Group on the construction of a condo project last year. “But I can see how it could happen, because people are always attracted to water.”
Beautification Efforts Will Attract Los Angeles Home Owners to Area
Developers of the area are confident that a revitalized river will attract a multitude of businesses and home owners to the natural attractions created by the development. Among the splendor of nature, many proposals of retail, office and apartment space have been made including one for the area’s first microbrewery.
Another boon to the development prospects is that the improvement of the river will also help to bring greater value to homes in the area. According to Bloomberg Buisinessweek, which cited data from real estate information service DataQuick, home prices in the river-adjacent neighborhood known as Elysian Valley have jumped nearly 16 percent in the last year, while condo prices have gone up 31 percent.
“It has the quality of a recently discovered area, and there’s definitely a kind of land boom,” says Lewis MacAdams, co-founder of the nonprofit group Friends of the Los Angeles River.
While various development groups still have a long way to go to realize the vision, the future is looking bright for the river district and Los Angeles as a whole. If you are interested in Los Angeles real estate, please give our team of property experts a call for assistance.