Ian Ritter is online content manager at GRS Group

Ian Ritter is online content manager at GRS Group

Several panels of speakers weighed in on the commercial real estate in Downtown Los Angeles, saying that it’s doing well on many fronts, from development, leasing and all of the industry’s sectors.  Bottom line: Los Angeles real estate has momentum!

The Connect Los Angeles was the official launch of Connect Conferences, which was sponsored by GRS Group and attended by several of the firm’s clients.

Tom Warren, the chief operating officer of Holland Partners, pointed out that there is a serious demand for housing in Downtown Los Angeles. He said that there are 500,000 office workers downtown but only 52,000 housing units. More housing would improve the quality of life in the city, Warren said

“The more people that live here, the better place it is to live,” he mentioned.

In addition to housing, the area needs retail, says Ted Tanner, senior vice president of real estate at AEG. In addition to the work it has done in the multifamily sector, the firm is trying to attract more stores to the area. “We desperately need more downtown,” Tanner emphasized.

His company, which built L.A. Live, is  also conducting a $600-million expansion of the JW Marriott downtown.

Jamison Realty is having success with building apartments downtown. The company opened a multifamily development in the Mid Wilshire area, which was 85-percent leased in two months, said Jamie Lee, the firm’s chief executive officer. It has six projects in the pipeline and expects to build about 7,000 units in the next three to four years. She mentioned that Millennials are more willing to rent in urban spaces.

“It had better happen sooner than later,” said Warren. “We are going to have a real housing crisis,” he said. “We can’t build enough housing for the major metropolitan area.”

Stay tuned for more news from Connect Los Angeles!