Uh oh, the Arts District "is drawing favorable comparisons to New York's meatpacking district," according to the LA Times. Maybe they just mean that "trendy shops, restaurants, hotels and offices have taken over many industrial buildings that were strictly blue collar for decades," but MePa is notorious for having gentrified so successfully that it's now the exclusive domain of young assholes who travel to Manhattan via the bridges and tunnels. The Arts District seems too cool to suffer such a fate, but still there are some disturbing signs of hyper-gentrification afoot:
-- The old Crazy Gideon's discount electronics store on Traction Avenue is set to become "an expansive brew pub serving house-made beer with meals."
-- Church & State proprietor Yassmin Sarmadi: "There were drug addicts and prostitutes on the corner when we started ... Now limousines pull up on a regular basis."
-- The fancy new grocery store Urban Radish is opening in an old glass manufacturing warehouse on mateo Street.
-- "Flanking [Urban Radish's] parking lot is an electric car charging station."
-- Freaking Nike has super-hipster space (offices made from shipping containers, a skate park) in the Factory Place Arts Complex.
-- "Commercial rents can top $2 per square foot per month and can surpass the prices paid for space in ritzy high-rises visible on the downtown skyline a few blocks away."
-- Parking is so short in the neighborhood that "One parking space may cost as much as $100 a month to rent."
-- Diane Keaton owns an income property in the neighborhood.
-- The star of National Treasure: Book of Secrets has called the Arts District home. Come on.
In other words, we're a little skeptical that "some of the neighborhood's biggest supporters expect that it will be difficult to find artists in the arts district in another decade as gentrification drives up rents and pushes low-paid artists to cheaper locales." A decade? We couldn't find anything on Craigslist renting for less than $2,000 a month and while there's one little Biscuit Company condo going for $296,900, most units in the neighborhood start selling closer to the half million dollar mark. Not surprising that many artists "are moving across the river to less trendy Boyle Heights."
· Downtown L.A.'s edgy arts district is neighborhood in transition [LAT]