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Prospects For Multifamily Remain Positive In LA

CityView's Michael Schwartzman, Forest City Enterprises' Nathan Arnold, Polaris Pacific's Rhonda Slavik, Fairfield Residential's Larry Scott and CBRE's Laurie Lustig-Bower

With so many multifamily towers going up in Downtown LA, the biggest question is whether they are condos or rentals, according to Fairfield Residential Senior Vice President Larry Scott. That will determine how they will affect the market, he said.

"If they're condo, then you feel better about the rental market," Scott said. "If they all convert to rental, then you don't feel as good about supply and demand."

Polaris Pacific Director Rhonda Slavik and Fairfield Residential Senior Vice President Larry Scott

Polaris Pacific Director Rhonda Slavik credited the work of Downtown Center Business Improvement District CEO Carol Schatz and Central City Association CEO Jessica Lall for laying the foundation and spurring development in DTLA.

Schatz helped draft the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance that was approved by the city in 1999. Previously, Lall was the executive director of the South Park Business Improvement District.

DTLA is very livable now, according to Slavik.

"We feel the demand is very strong and still underserved," she said.

She pointed to developments that have gone up due to that livability, including her company's Ten50 and Oceanwide and Metropolis.

She would love to see more for-sale inventory in DTLA.

Forest City Enterprises Senior Construction Project Manager Nathan Arnold said he thinks there will be absorption issues in the short term with so much for-rent product hitting the market. But he thinks those will be blips that will eventually smooth out.