Let’s be clear about what I mean by Mid-City: Everything north of the 10, east of La Cienega, south of Wilshire, and west of Western.
Why do I love it? Because:
1. It’s central: The area I just described is roughly 10-15 minutes by car from all of the jobs on the Westside (in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Culver City, etc.) and also 10-15 minutes from all the jobs Downtown. And you can get to the nightlife in West Hollywood and Hollywood in 10-15 minutes, as well. As more and more people forsake the suburbs (and the awful commute), they are going to want to be in places like this, instead.
2. The housing stock is great: Most of the area was developed from 1900-1930. That means there is an interesting mix of old Craftsman homes and nicely-proportioned 1920s duplexes and fourplexes with parking. These buildings have good bones – with some dough and some effort, you can make them really nice.
3. The retail is going to improve: Drive along Washing, Venice, Pico and Olympic (the big east-west commercial streets in the area). You will see mostly crummy businesses and a ton of awful strip malls. However, if you look closely, you will also see that many older, beautiful buildings remain. You will also see the first shoots of gentrification… a Paper or Plastik here, a Bloom Cafe, there. Over time, you’re going to see more and more of these interesting stores / restaurants, because the new, more affluent residents moving in demand them.
4. It’s cheap: You can still buy large single family homes in this area for around $500k. And there are plenty of 2-4 unit apartment buildings that makes sense on a cashflow basis, but also cost less than $200 / ft. It would cost $200 / ft to build these buildings today, even if someone gave you the land for free. So, you’re buying good buildings at below replacement cost with good in place cashflow. Someone explain the downside… I can’t see it.
We’ve been doing an increasing amount of business in Mid City. And we’d love to help you do some, too. If you’re interested, get in touch.