Downtown gaining people, losing jobs, new report says
The population has jumped 20% in two years, although retail has been slow to follow.
By Cara Mia DiMassa
Times Staff Writer
9:22 PM PST, February 20, 2007
Downtown L.A. is beginning to look more like uptown — and it's happening much more quickly than even its biggest boosters could have imagined.
A new study of downtown population and job trends, announced Tuesday, reported a more than 20% jump over the last two years in residents, to 28,878.
And with 7,500 units under construction, that number could rise to more than 40,000 by the end of 2008 — rather than by 2015, the previous target for that population milestone.
The survey did not distinguish between market-rate units and those deemed affordable. And while it showed that the median income of households downtown was $99,600 — up from $96,300 two years before — only households with at least one income were examined, meaning it didn't count people living on public assistance.
And... even jobs may start to return to Downtown after years of losses...
The study found that the number of jobs downtown continues to lag — a holdover from an era when government jobs downsized and corporate headquarters left the city center. Downtown payroll numbers for 2005, the last year available, show a total of 418,000 — down from a high of 605,000 in 1995.
But Jack Kyser, chief economist and senior vice president of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp., which prepared a portion of the report, said the trend may be reversing, as the number of jobs in downtown began to climb in the first quarter of 2006.
But the real BIG news is in the Downtown News story:
The study, prepared by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp., found that:
# An estimated 28,878 people live Downtown, and that there are 9,431 market rate residences and 9,568 affordably priced units. A similar DCBID study released in early 2005 found that 23,894 residents lived in the area, marking a 21% population increase.
# The median income of households in the new buildings is $99,600, a 3% climb from the 2004 figure of $96,300.
# Downtown residents are investing in the community, with 30.2% of area inhabitants buying condominiums. Two years ago, 18% of the respondents had purchased units.
# More than three out of four Downtowners have at least an undergraduate degree, and 28% of the local populace has a graduate or professional degree.
# The median age of new Downtown residents is 31, and more than 60% of area inhabitants are single. Slightly more than half, 53.5%, are male, and 46.5% are female.
# Of the new area inhabitants, 24.3% left the Westside for Downtown. More than half of the residents, 55.1%, also work in Downtown.
And that's the big news.
For the first time a majority of the people who move Downtown - are also working Downtown... and many of them are leaving the most congested part of the city. Their numbers are also rapidly increasing; person after person I know who moves here - is also moving their business or job down here and person after person I know who is working down here - is now looking for a place to rent or buy down here.
And that's the future of LA - people living not just near, but within walking distance of where they work.