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Curbed Cup 1st round (7) East Hollywood vs. (10) Koreatown

Which neighborhood should advance? Vote now!

Thai Town
Prayitno / Flickr creative commons

East Hollywood

The price is right in East Hollywood, the neighborhood south of Los Feliz, where it’s still possible to find comparatively reasonable rents in hot, hot, hot Hollywood. This writer moved here two years ago, paying $1,350 monthly for a rent-controlled one bedroom one block from the Red Line and walking distance to Thai Town and the western entrance to Griffith Park. Speaking of Thai Town, there’s a plethora of diverse restaurants in this ‘hood that, with the exception of probably Sqirl (best jam ever!), aren’t uber trendy but are still great and don’t cost much.

When the Los Angeles Times featured East Hollywood in its neighborhood spotlight this fall, it said the neighborhood’s economy was its biggest challenge. But that’s poised to change. New buildings are going up around Metro’s Hollywood/Western station and a six-story building with 200 apartments and ground-floor retail is proposed just west of Barnsdall Park, one of the neighborhood’s gems.


Koreatown is experiencing a staggering building boom, with residential developments proposed on a makeshift park, and on top of parking structures in a few places across the neighborhood. It’s not all residential, either—there are even a couple hotels thrown in the mix. With Ktown’s great bars and eateries, it’s not hard to imagine why people want to spend time here.

The neighborhood is going to see big changes soon near Vermont and Wilshire, where a major project will transform county-owned buildings near the intersection and bring new civic structures, housing, and community space. The neighborhood also has an incredible, permanently affordable, eco-friendly housing project in the works.

Though there’s a drove of new-build projects planned or under construction, Koreatown’s not ignoring the great, early twentieth century buildings within its boundaries. An adaptive reuse project completed this fall turned a 1920s office building into very glamorous housing, and the Chapman Plaza on Sixth Street near Normandie is getting ready for a renovation as well.