I am betting on Los Angeles (LA) as I witnessed the surge of building activities taking place in downtown LA. As a resident of California, I am always pleased when my beloved city, Los Angeles, is referenced in a positive manner. When I moved from Brooklyn, New York to Los Angeles, California, my first job was in downtown Los Angeles where I worked for Bank of America (B of A), which was located on the northwest corner of 6th Street and Flower Avenue. The B of A building shared a courtyard with another building where the international oil company’s, Arco, offices were located. Both buildings because of their same size were called the “Twin Towers.” Today, Bank of America’s offices are no longer there, but prominently positioned in its place is City National Bank. The prestigious private Los Angeles City Club was recently relocated and is housed on the top floor of the former Bank of America building. The 360 degrees view from the City Club top floor is breathtaking. On a clear day you can see the Pacific Ocean from the City Club.
There is something magnificent taking place downtown LA. The number of individuals living and working in downtown LA have tremendously increased. No longer is downtown Los Angeles a ghost town after 5 pm, when back in the mid 80s’ to late 90s’, downtown workers left the area to socialize and recreate in Hollywood, West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Westwood. Presently, downtown LA is teeming with live-work spaces, condos, apartments, restaurants, bars and hotels. Currently being built is the much talked about Korean Air 73-story hotel on the southwest corner of Wilshire Boulevard at Figueroa Street. This skyscraper will be the tallest building in downtown LA. I am also elated that across the street from the famous Staples Center, a Renaissance Hotel is being built. Downtown Los Angeles is no longer a sleepy city. Ask a friend to meet you downtown and the answer is no longer “no.” Usually, the responses are “let’s try that new restaurant or bar.”
It has taken many years for downtown Los Angeles to have its current resurgence. Those of us who live, work and recreate in Los Angeles anticipated this day would arrive. After all Los Angeles is the second largest media center in the United States of America. So, it stands to reason that the time would come when the rebirth of Los Angeles would be a well documented national story. Even Pharrell Williams, the Grammy awarding winning producer, is engaging Los Angeles. His hit song, “Happy,” is one the most popular recordings in today’s pop culture. The video for “Happy” uses several downtown LA areas as scenes to tell the visual story of the song.
I am bullish on downtown Los Angeles and hope you are too. If you don’t live in Los Angeles, please come and visit a revived downtown Los Angeles.