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Carol Schatz, president and CEO, Central City Association and Downtown Center BID

Los Angeles Other

Today, we bring you the final installment of our seven-part Power Women series profiling the 60 most influential women in LA commercial real estate (see Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6). Then join Bisnow and partner Allen Matkins tonight for a cocktail awards reception to honor them at the Hotel Casa del Mar, 6-8pm.

Carol Schatz,
President and CEO,
Central City Association and Downtown Center BID

If you're in development in Downtown LA, you know Carol Schatz (snapped earlier this year with CBRE's Lew Horne). She runs two nonprofit orgs--Central City Association and the Downtown Center BID--that have been the architects of the renaissance Downtown, which has seen more than $18B in investment, including the opening of more than 600 restaurants, clubs and bars. Carol decided before she got out of law school that she didn't want to practice law in the traditional sense. When she was appointed in 1995 to be the first woman to run the CCA, it was pretty much a good old boys' club. (She'll be celebrating her 25th anniversary next year.) Born and raised in LA, she had an interest in seeing Downtown rejuvenated. The CCA in particular was responsible for probably the single most important catalyst: the passage of the adaptive reuse ordinance, which made it easier for developers to convert old office buildings to housing. Staples Center was another catalyst that got people living in the LA area to look at Downtown as a place to be entertained. She tells us "the tax benefits of this have gone well beyond Downtown to every neighborhood in the City." It never gets old, she says. There are always new issues to deal with, and that's what keeps it fresh.