Bi-coastal revivals: What downtowns in Miami and LA have in common

A decade ago, “it was so empty down here you could shoot a rocket down the street and not hit a thing,” says Rhonda Slavik, a consultant for real-estate research firm Polaris Pacific. “Now, there are young people walking their dogs, families with strollers, restaurants teeming with people.”

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Taken out of context, this quote could easily be attributed to downtown Miami. But keep reading and you’ll soon realize that the article is describing another city 3,000 miles away. For all the progress Miami’s urban core has made over the past decade, downtown Los Angeles is keeping pace.

The City of Angels’ historic heart has seen an influx of arts, entertainment and cultural venues in its downtown area, which is attracting new investors and residents at a record-setting pace. What used to be a gritty, overlooked part of town is giving way to gentrification and the creation of hip districts such as Figeroa (“Fig,” for short) and “L.A. Live,” a $3 billion sports and entertainment district. And just as we’re seeing in Miami, new investment is also pouring into downtown L.A.Firms from as far away as Asia are creating new residential complexes catering to a new generation of Millennials and even BabyBoomers who are drawn to a walkable lifestyle.

Miami’s urban core paints a similar picture. Some of the world’s largest development firms are investing billions; the area has come alive as an arts destination; trendy hotels and restaurants are opening; and a steady parade of strollers overtakes Brickell Avenue each morning during rush hour. With so much in common, it seems like downtown Miami has a long-lost twin on the west coast.

Now, if we could only do something about those hurricanes and earthquakes…

You can read the full report at the Wall Street Journal, and watch their video below: