LA's 5 Most Expensive 'Hoods
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High demand for housing has kept multifamily rents escalating throughout the LA region, but none more so in desirable submarkets like beach communities on the Westside, Downtown LA and Hollywood, where high-tech companies like Google and the entertainment industry have set up shop. Here are LA's five most expensive places.
A green and healthy beachside city where new buildings must be at least LEED Silver, Santa Monica exemplifies author Paul H. Ray’s description of cultural creative, but with SoCal flair. The city’s famous Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Pier attract visitors from around the world. But for locals, it's just a fun place to live with sidewalk cafés, bars, nightclubs and restaurants offering everything from ethnic cuisine to fresh organic fare. Any day of the week locals can be seen surfing; biking, rollerblading and skateboarding along the beachfront bike trail; or working out at the outdoor, beachside gym.
Location is key to apartment pricing in Santa Monica. Rents for one-bedroom oceanfront apartments start at about $5,500. But you can get into small, 650 SF digs at the boutique Mayfair Residences—some with ocean views—in Downtown around the corner from the Promenade and two blocks from the beach for a little more than $3k. Located at 210 Santa Monica Blvd, some Mayfair units feature granite countertops, high-end fixtures, stainless steel appliances, custom wood cabinets, in-unit washer-dryer, and hardwood floors. The community has a pet park, covered parking, controlled access, electric car charging stations and a rooftop deck with ocean view.
MARINA DEL REY
MDR is an affluent community of about 9,000 boat lovers, distinguished as the world's largest manmade small craft harbor with about 6,500 recreational craft moored here. A water bus transports residents to community events, like free summertime concerts at Burton W. Chace Park. MDR has two shopping districts, Rick Caruso's Waterside destination retail center on Admiralty and Marina Marketplace, with 70 stores and eateries on Maxella Avenue. Favorite pastimes for locals: boating, biking, kayaking and paddle boarding. MDR is also within walking distance of Venice Beach and the hip Abbot Kinney neighborhood.
Some apartments in the MDR go for under $3k, but they're usually older properties built in the 1960s and 1970s with no A/C. A modern, 1,035 SF unit at EspritMDR, located at 13900 Marquesas Way, rents for a minimum of $3,300 per month. All units have marina views and luxury features, including gourmet kitchens with stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors and in-unit washer-dryer. For $700 more you can get a 35-foot boat slip. The community features a saltwater lap pool and poolside lounge, several spas, a pet park and a fully equipped fitness center.
This iconic, unconventional beachside enclave features the famous carnival-style boardwalk (pictured) littered with street performers, fortune tellers, musicians and vendors who cater to tourists. Venice is home to Google and the original Gold’s Gym. There are also surf shops, a plethora of boutiques, art galleries, and coffee shops in the hip Abbot Kinney neighborhood. And for most cafés and restaurants here, the rule is "no shirt, no shoes, no problem." The local artist community holds a quarterly Venice Art Crawl and annual Venice Art Walk.
Lincoln Place, located at 1050 Frederick St, is a historic 1950s, 45-building apartment complex—the largest in Venice—that's recently received a $140M makeover. Improvements, however, are being passed through to renters, with prices starting at $3,100/month for a 601 SF unit. Units have hardwood floors, gourmet kitchens, A/C and French doors to patios. The community’s wide variety of amenities geared to Millennials include a saltwater pool with cabanas, an outdoor fireplace, a fully equipped fitness center, a large park with picnic tables and barbecue grills, and a rooftop deck.
There’s no beach in Beverly Hills, but there’s plenty to do if you have deep pockets, like shopping on Rodeo Drive (pictured), one of the most expensive retail markets in the nation. This is home to droves of celebrities, so there are many fine-dining restaurants too. But Beverly Hills also has lovely parks and cultural facilities, including the Paley Center for Media, which provides viewings of a collection of nearly 150,000 programs covering nearly 100 years of television history; the Motion Picture Academy HQ, which hosts rotating film industry-related exhibits and presents film screenings in the Academy’s 1,000-seat theater; and a variety of art galleries and public art displays.
Apartments in Beverly Hills are even more pricey than the Westside. For example, a 721 SF unit at Blu Beverly Hills, at 8601 Wilshire Blvd, starts at $3,800. The project’s crisp new units feature amazing views, gourmet kitchens with stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, designer appointments and in-unit washer-dryer. This pet-friendly community provides complimentary, 24-hour valet parking and on-site concierge service, as well as a rooftop deck and fitness center.
Hollywood is touristy but it also has a local scene. Home to employers focused on the entertainment and related technology, Hollywood residents tend to be young creative professionals who enjoy the many restaurants and nightlife the district offers. There’s also the Hollywood Bowl, which hosts the symphony, rock concerts and other events, as well as Griffith Park for hiking, picnics and other activities, and nightly events at the Griffith Observatory. Hollywood is also on the Red Line subway system, which stretches from Downtown LA to Glendale, making getting around the city or commuting into Downtown easy without getting in a car.
Although a popular rental market, renting in Hollywood is a better deal than other desirable markets. For instance, rent for a 674 SF unit at 1600 Vine starts at $2,500. This high-rise project with amazing views is just a block from the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame and the Hollywood/Vine Metro Station. Units have gourmet kitchens with stainless steel appliances, huge windows that let in lots of natural light, designer appointments, hardwood floors and balconies. The complex offers a rooftop deck with pool and spa, an on-site dog park, a high-intensity workout facility, a boardroom for business meetings, a resident's lounge for hosting parties, BBQ grills and outdoor fire pits.
Downtown is a truly 24/7 urban market, with a hot nightclub scene, lots of new restaurants, and a variety of entertainments at L.A. Live, Staples Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Music Center. Downtown’s many district also offer unique experiences, including the arts, jewelry, flower, fashion (pictured) districts; Chinatown; the Historic Core; Little Tokyo; South Park; Olvera Street Historic El Pueblo marketplace; USC/Figueroa Corridor museums; Gallery Row; and Bunker Hill and Grand Avenue, with new Broad Museum and The Bloc, a new retail-entertainment destination underway.
AVANT South Park, which recently sold to a JV of AGI Capital, TMG Partners and CalPERS, is among the literally thousands of new apartments in Downtown LA. Located at 1420 S Figueroa in South Park, AVANT is typical of what you can get for under $2,500 in Downtown: 650 SF to 750 SF units featuring a gourmet kitchen, hardwood floors and a spacious balcony. Community amenities include a pool, spa, sun terrace, and a state-of-the-art fitness center on the second-level. The rooftop deck features an outdoor lounge with 70” TV, surround sound, a built-in fireplace, and a sunbathing and picnic area. There are also a bicycle storage and bike maintenance facility, electric car charging stations, a dog wash/grooming center and a gourmet coffee bar.