If Los Angeles is the “City of Angels”, the Art District, which sits in the southeastern portion of the downtown area, can be said to be a haven for culture and aesthetics. Still clearly resting in the remains of its industrious past, this area became a harbor for the creative community in search for affordable living and studio space in the caverns of the district’s empty warehouses and depositories. Now the neighborhood faces another bout of change that could very easily leave these same people and many others at risk of losing the right to this place that they have made their own.
The Collective project focused on the southern blocks of the Los Angeles Arts District. The data shows a large variance between most common median household incomes, which already suggest the mobilization of gentrification. With this in mind, steps to try to better balance the now top-heavy economic distribution need to be taken to keep the neighborhood from completely wiping out longtime residents who might still have a chance to stay in the wake of future development.
Large scale developments in the neighborhood (designed by large firms such as Herzog & de Meuron and BIG) will exponentially change the local context and population of the South Arts District. Through online research and data available, a total of 3,782 living units and 862 hotel rooms will be added to the urban fabric of the neighborhood.
With all this increased development, existing business and residents are displaced, moving elsewhere to avoid increases in market rates to rent. Also, the availability of low-income housing opportunities is also minimal to non-existent, anywhere from 7-10% of the total unit count.
The Co-Living Developer Plan introduces rent investment, a means to providing residents a percentage of ownership and market investment over their habitation in a co-living property. As in a typical rental property, rent would fund facilities, utilities, and other amenities like rideshare and cleaning services. A percentage of the rent would also go towards pooled stock, bonds, and mutual funds with the goal of steady rent rates, safeguards against real estate tax increases, and real estate expansion to other co-living building properties. The longer a tenant stays and invests in a co-living property, the more their investments grow and their percentage towards investment increases via tiers. These investments coalesce with the intention of expanding this development model to other new Collective co-living locations to the rest of the Los Angeles Arts District and beyond.”