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Carson is Trying to Remake Itself as a Luxury Rental Market

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Just last year, Carson opened its very first luxury apartment building, the 150-unit (perhaps aptly-named) Renaissance at City Center, which it hopes will not only revitalize the intersection it shares with a trailer park, but also be a strong anchor for a new, ritzy shopping center with "high-end" retailers, a nail place, and a "drive-through deli" that will grow up around it. The city hopes that it'll be their first big step at rebranding as another fancy South Bay locale. The Daily Breeze points out that the 'hood's got a lot riding on the success of the upscale apartments: Carson invested $81 million of its own money in the complex. Carson hasn't gotten a lot of new market-rate apartments lately and it doesn't sound like they're that good at it yet. There are a lot of things about this complex that sound rather unluxurious: not only is it at a major intersection (with not much else around), it's attached to an IHOP and low-income apartments. (Isn't the point of paying more to get away from all of those things?)

But, in only about a year, almost of the Renaissance's apartments have been leased up; rents range from $1,650 to $2,850 a month. The building is the official home of the LA Galaxy (which in itself probably doesn't mean anything) and also the actual home of at least a few players, according to a rep for the Renaissance's developer, LA-based Thomas Safran & Associates. This complex, with it's separate rooms for yoga, dogwashing, and lounging, is in some ways convincingly like a lot of places that could be found on the Westside or in Downtown.

And Carson's just getting started. The city is looking to bring in all the trappings of places where people will actually pay a lot of money to live: pedestrian-friendly street upgrades, new landscaping, and high-end retail like the Porsche Experience Center, "a driving school and test track for high-end automobiles," along with the much-anticipated Boulevards at South Bay, an insta-hood with 1,550 residences, an outlet mall, a theater, and a hotel.
· Renaissance, Carson's first luxury apartment complex, building a new era for city [DB]