Downtown is back, again, baby. The Downtown News says there's about to be a mini-apartment boom in the city center, with several projects under construction, in planning, or set to open. One of the most prominent is developer Barry Shy's (SB Tower, SB Spring) plans for SB Omega, a 40-story apartment tower for Sixth and Main, with hopes for an April groundbreaking. The tower will have five floors of parking, 35 levels of apartments with 350 units, but no retail, apparently. Shy is bullish because, he says, "I have no vacancy and the rent keeps going up," thanks to growing demand. With the tower being double the height of adjacent Historic Core buildings, some city sign-offs may be necessary before shovels hit dirt. The original modern-day DTLA developer Tom Gilmore (of the Old Bank District) says his units are just as full, while Bud Ovrom in the Building and Safety Department notes an 11 percent uptick in imminent DTLA construction. Residential projects like Avant in South Park, One Santa Fe in the Arts District, and the Chinatown Gateway are underway, while Related's Grand Avenue tower and a plethora of projects on Olympic, Eighth, and Broadway appear close to starting. Gilmore tells the DN there's an extreme shortage of housing in job-rich DTLA: "We could probably use 200,000 more units of housing." Average rental rates in the Historic Core run about $2.03/square foot, but recent projects are asking more.
· The Next Downtown Apartment Boom [DN]