Downtown Los Angeles

Development in Southern California: Beyond Downtown Los Angeles

Southern California Development Forum (SCDF) recently hosted their monthly panel event on Nov. 14, 2017 at the City Club Los Angeles in DTLA. THO attended to not only support SCDF as our client, but also to better understand how greater Los Angeles is changing.

Hal Bastian, of Hal Bastian Inc., moderated the morning’s panel. Panelists included Michael White, managing director and principal of Gensler, Matthew T. Howell, vice president at Lincoln Property West and Robert Sonnenblick, chairman at Sonnenblick Development, LLC.

Among other insights, THO learned the greater Los Angeles region is the fastest growing megalopolis in North America, and development is expected to continue to grow over the next decade and beyond. At the event, panelists discussed current projects throughout Southern California and spoke of expectations for the region.

Certain issues such as infill development, transportation, infrastructure and housing were discussed at length during the panel event. The matter of housing the growing aging population in Los Angeles was addressed as well.

“In terms of the aging of our population, I see seniors housing as having the brightest future,” said Sonnenblick. “But, since land prices in Los Angeles are so expensive, you won’t see any of these structures built in the urban center.”

The issue of housing was of particular concern during the panel event. “Los Angeles’ population is growing,” said White. “From a residential standpoint, there’s a huge housing shortage.”

According to the National Association of Home Builders, Los Angeles surpassed San Francisco as the least affordable housing market for the first time in 19 consecutive quarters. In Los Angeles, only 9.1 percent of homes sold during the third quarter were considered affordable for the area’s median income of $64,300.

As Bastian would phrase it, “affordable housing in Los Angeles is an oxymoron.”

SCDF hosts monthly panels on various topics such as this, specifically speaking to in the Greater Los Angeles region. Panel topics have included hospitality, education, healthcare and more.

For more on the organization’s next event, check out: