Tourist or Prospective Resident?

A few years ago, when real estate was booming, Downtown, the central heart of LA was beating fast and viciously – and everyone was speculating about it becoming the newest, hippest place to live. Well, you know what happened to the real estate boom. While lots of downtown construction had to be put on life support, it looks like new blood’s once again flowing to the area, and those visions of urban gentrification may come to fruition.

Having an ocean view is so last decade. via Flickr

With increasing numbers of young people making the move from the West Side or Hollywood into the city’s heart of darkness, it can be overwhelming to pick a neighborhood or street in particular – since most LA residents have only limited experiences downtown (minus the occasion trek to the Disney Concert Hall or Staples). Well, now there’s a solution. Downtown LA has begun offering free “housing bus tours” – similar to the star sighting ones in Beverly Hills or West Hollywood, but targeted instead on different lofts in the middle of all those skyscrapers. The tours take place twice a month, on Saturday morning, and last around four hours.

Are yuppies soon to follow? via Flickr

If you’re uneducated on life East of La Brea like me – it may just be the push you need to believe Downtown’s heavy push to rebrand itself as an urban hipster oasis. I guess that label sounds more intriguing than the 90’s version of downtown as “uninhabitable homeless vacuum.” But hey, maybe that’s just me.


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