Geum Yi

Development booms as young professionals flock to LA Koreatown

July 31, 2015
Koreatown construction sites (Korea Times)

Koreatown construction sites (Korea Times)

By James Goo

Empty lots in Koreatown are fast disappearing, replaced by shining new real estate, as an increasing number of young professionals crowd the once-struggling area.

The 2.7-square-mile region in Central Los Angeles, which houses one of the city’s densest populations, is in the midst of a condo and apartment development boom.

Chinese capital that was concentrated in downtown and Chinatown are being transferred to Koreatown, a local real estate source said.

Dozens of projects are currently under plans or being constructed in the neighborhood.

One of the largest among them, a multipurpose building located on a 1.2-acre patch on 6th Street and Virgil Avenue, is overseen by developer Century West Partners and is slated for a seven-story facility with 339 apartment units and a 20,000-square-feet shopping mall upon completion.

Other apartment complexes under construction are a 74-unit building on 5th Street and Virgil Avenue; a 29-unit building on Wilshire Boulevard and Crenshaw Boulevard; and two buildings, one a 27-story structure and the other seven stories, in two blocks on 8th Street between Berendo and Catalina Street.

Planned structures include a seven-story building with two underground floors on a 1.6-acre plot on Olympic Boulevard near Kingsley and Ardmore Avenue and a 64-unit, seven-story building on a 0.61-acre plot on 5th Street and Kenmore Avenue by Kenfield Development.

More are underway or being constructed around Hobart and Harvard Boulevard and 6th and 8th Street.

Koreatown occupies a prime location in the city near Mid-Wilshire, bordered by Vermont and Western Avenues east and west and 3rd Street and Olympic Boulevard north and south.

“There’s no land to build large houses in Koreatown, so developers are building up,” said Lee Hae-bong, head of Masters Realty Group in Koreatown. “Young professionals are flocking to Koreatown. Rent prices hitting new highs because of their movement is the root of all of these new developments.”