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If you're from Southern California, living in Downtown has never really been on anyone's list of top places to live in LA. And for people thinking on moving to LA to chase the California Dream, you’ve probably thought about living in Hollywood or on the beach. These perceptions originated way back when nothing was happening in Downtown. However, when you take several billions of dollars in investments; unique retro-fitted historical buildings; new modern international skyscrapers; some of the hottest new restaurants, bars, clubs, and entertainment venues; and throw in the ability to walk or take the Metro anywhere in SoCal; Downtown has finally made the list of top places to live in LA. Of course, it's not for everyone.

But, if you're an "empty nester" looking to downsize, an artist or entertainment industry-type who wants to live in one of the most filmed areas in the world, or a young professional who wants to live, work and play in a new exciting international hub unlike any other in SoCal; Downtown should be in YOUR list of top places to live in LA.

Before we get started, let’s address a few myths and misconceptions about Downtown:

Did the Renaissance in DTLA end in 2008?

When the recession hit, everything stopped. But let's use the word "paused" instead of stopped. It was going great; it paused for a few years; and now we’re up and running again. If you go Downtown, you'll see that it's picked up right where it left off in 2008. There are cranes and construction sites in each and every neighborhood from Little Tokyo and the Arts District, all through the Historic Core, Civic Center, South Park—even across the 110 freeway into City West and Echo Park. The DTLA Renaissance that people are referring to in the past tense was merely a "warm up" for what's in store for us in the future.

What about nightlife? Are there any places to go after 5 pm?

DTLA has a growing number of restaurants and night life areas. There is the Historic Core along Spring and Main, "Restaurant Row" in the Finance District on 7th, the Entertainment District in South Park where LA Live and the Staples Center are located, and even the Arts District is developing its own nightlife scene. There are lots of trendy restaurants and cocktail bars all within close proximity of each other for a fun night out, and more are opening all the time.

Is DTLA more expensive than other areas in LA?

Not really. You can always find a cheaper place to live if you sacrifice on the location, but if you want to live in an exciting neighborhood with lots of things going on, Downtown is actually cheaper than the other areas in LA like Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Old Town Pasadena, and so on. Also, the cost of living should factor in more than just housing. Think about driving to the restaurant, paying for parking, gas money, etc. Instead, imagine walking downstairs, crossing the street, and sitting down to dinner. That’s definitely worth calculating into the cost of living.

Can you get around without a car?

Absolutely! However, for most Angelinos, this is a city that is synonymous with driving and getting stuck in traffic. It’s part of our culture. Fortunately, with the introduction of the Metro lines and their expansions, you can get around Downtown very easily—not to mention getting to Pasadena or Hollywood in about 15-20 minutes. In fact, soon you'll be able to take the Expo line all the way to the beach in Santa Monica. One caveat for getting around is in the Arts District. It used to be a big warehouse area, so the streets are wider, and since there aren't many tall buildings, it's not as concentrated as other neighborhoods like the Financial District or Historic Core. This means you will see a lot of people riding bikes which actually fits very well with the lifestyle of the people living there. However, it's also a perfect place to walk your dog on the way to your favorite coffee place.

Come explore with me.

If you haven't been to DTLA in a while, or want an "INSIDER" to give you a first-hand tour of Downtown Living, give me a call or email me. To get the full experience, we can meet at one of the Gold Line stops and hop on a train to LA's emerging cosmopolitan center.

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