This is crazy! Madrid-based PKMN Architecture’s five-in-one apartment solution that allows the owner to have several spacious rooms—just one at a time.
Edited by Jodi Summers
What’s old is new again. The Expo line traces a historic route through Los Angeles. Although its tracks, signals, and power lines are all new, much of the light rail line’s right-of-way dates to 1875, when the first rail link between downtown L.A. and the Westside opened and gave birth to the city of Santa Monica.1875 drawing of Santa Monica. The Los Angeles and Independence Railroad’s western terminus was a wharf, which extended into the Pacific Ocean at the mouth of the Santa Monica Arroyo.
In 1874, silver baron John P. Jones partnered with sheep rancher Robert S. Baker to develop a seaside resort town on Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica. Perched atop picturesque bluffs and cooled by an ocean breeze, the town was favorably located — except that it was a long stagecoach journey from the region’s population center in Los Angeles. To make the town marketable, Jones – Santa Monica’s first mayor – built a 16-mile rail line between the Santa Monica Bay waterfront and downtown Los Angeles. He named it the Los Angeles and Independence Railroad. It was only the second railroad built in Los Angeles; the first was the Los Angeles and San Pedro, which opened in 1869.In the 1890s, the Southern Pacific built a wharf into the Pacific Ocean near Santa Monica and attempted to build a commercial shipping harbor there. Freight traffic along the Los Angeles and Independence skyrocketed until the federal government chose San Pedro as the site of the region’s harbor in 1897.
The Expo Line is a light-rail line running between Downtown Los Angeles and Culver City, with service to Santa Monica (Phase 2) planned to begin in 2015. The line is named “Expo” as it follows Exposition Boulevard for most of its route.
The line is being built in two phases; the first phase comprises the 8.6-mile section between Downtown Los Angeles and Culver City began in early 2006 and most stations opened to the public on April 28, 2012. Design and construction on the 6.6-mile portion between Culver City and Santa Monica started in September 2011, with the opening of the City’s three stations anticipated in 2015.Southern Pacific excursion trains, shown here in a circa 1900 photo, regularly brought beachgoers and to Santa Monica.
The Expo LRT to Santa Monica was incorporated in the City’s Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE), and are part of an integrated citywide strategy to reduce greenhouse gases and achieve no net new evening peak trips. The Expo Line currently operates from approximately 5 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. on weekdays and until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. As of June 2013, trains run approximately every 12 minutes during the daytime, every 10 minutes during the evening, and every 20 minutes after midnight.Though Jones planned to extend the line to Inyo County, the Los Angeles and Independence was never extended past its downtown L.A. terminal at San Pedro and Fifth.
In the 1890s, the Southern Pacific built a wharf into the Pacific Ocean near Santa Monica and attempted to build a commercial shipping harbor there. Freight traffic along the Los Angeles and Independence skyrocketed until the federal government chose San Pedro as the site of the region’s harbor in 1897.Detail of a circa 1912 map of the Pacific Electric interurban rail system. The Santa Monica Air Line is highlighted in aqua.
At the mouth of the Santa Monica Arroyo, where Interstate 10 meets with Pacific Coast Highway today, a wharf — forerunner to today’s Santa Monica Municipal Pier — extended into the ocean. There, ships could dock and unload freight onto rail cars. Heading east, the railroad passed through the future communities of Palms and Culver City before crossing the marshy cienegas of the Ballona Creek plain and then turning north to its terminal at San Pedro and Fifth streets in downtown Los Angeles.A Santa Monica Air Line car travels eastbound on Exposition Boulevard in front of USC’s Mudd Hall.
The Los Angeles and Independence helped make Santa Monica palatable to real estate speculators and prospective residents, but Jones, who was politically well-connected as a U.S. senator from Nevada, had grander plans for the railroad. Intending to connect the line with the town of Independence in the Owens Valley, and from there to a silver mine he owned in the Panamint Mountains, Jones optimistically included “Independence” in his railroad’s name. Later, Jones hoped, he could extend the line still further east to Salt Lake City and create a transcontinental line to rival the Southern Pacific.A Santa Monica Air Line car travels west through Culver City at Venice and Robertson.
But luck did not favor the railroad — or Jones — in its early years. Workers had surveyed the entire route and begun grading a path through the Cajon Pass when Jones’ silver mine unexpectedly played out in 1876.A Red Car traveling on the Santa Monica Air Line crosses over Motor Avenue.
Meanwhile, excursion trains brought beach-going day-trippers, but Santa Monica’s population stagnated in the midst of an economic depression, and the town struggled to compete with San Pedro as a shipping center. In dire financial straits, Jones reluctantly sold the Los Angeles and Independence to Collis P. Huntington’s Southern Pacific Railroad on July 1, 1877 for $195,000. Decades later, Jones wrote to his wife: “If you only knew how my heart ached when I was obliged by stress of circumstance to part with the RR, which together with matters connected with it was the pet project of my life.”A barn served as the Los Angeles and Independence’s Santa Monica station in the railroad’s early years.
**Named after the Ivy Park housing development, the Ivy station stop along the Santa Monica Air Line served present-day Culver City.
Fascinating facts and boring charts on owners and renters, according to the 2012 American Community Survey:
The typical owner-occupied household is headed by an individual between 45 to 54 years of age. The median household income in 2012 was $65,514. The average household size was 2.7 occupants with the most common household type being married.
The typical renter-occupied household is headed by an individual between 25 to 34 years. The median household income in 2012 was $31,888. The average household size was 2.53 occupants with the most common household type being single.
Nearly 17 million or 22.7% percent of all owners are between 45 to 54 years. The largest share of renters falls within the age bracket between 25 to 34 years. Just over 11 million of 26.4% of all renters are between 25 to 34 years.
The median income for rent-occupied households was $31,888. The median income for owner-occupied households was more than twice that amount at $65,514.
A large share of renter-occupied units is single-income households. Nearly ten million or 26.1% percent of all renter-occupied units are single-income households. Only 13.3% of owner-occupied units are single-income households. The largest share of owner-occupied units is married households at 60.1%.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 Consumer Expenditure Survey, average income for married couples with children was $98,104. The average income for all married couples was $90,393 in 2012.
Word in from the Los Angeles County Office of the Assessor is that the value of the taxable property in city of Los Angeles rose by 6% over last year’s figures. Woohoo to all property owners!
The aggregate value of property in Los Angeles County totaled $1 trillion > $62 billion increase from the prior year, and the 2014 assessment roll is the largest in County history.
“While the largest factor for the increase this year was residential real estate, international investors are also pouring money into large mixed use projects in downtown L.A., including projects like the Wilshire Grand Tower and Metropolis,” observes Anthony Crump, Special Assistant of Communications at the County Office of the Assessor.
These super-charged numbers reflect four consecutive year of growth. Clarus Market Metrics charts two year’s growth of apartment buildings in the County; examining August 2012-August 2014, concluding that the median price of for sale properties is up 18% and the median price of sold properties is up 95%.
Breaking it down, the aggregate value of property in the City of Los Angeles was $467 billion. Long Beach had the second-highest property valuation, coming in at $49 billion, followed by Santa Monica at $29 billion, Santa Clarita at $26 billion and Torrance at $26 billion.
Bradbury, a city of about 1,200 about 22 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles, experienced the greatest percentage increase in assessed value, rising 12% year over year. Lancaster came in second with a 10% increase, and Claremont, Palmdale and Arcadia followed closely, each with 8% increases. Five of the 10 cities with the largest increases in assessed valuations were in the San Gabriel Valley, pointing to increased investment in the area.
The assessed values are the foundation of the property tax system and are used to divvy up tax revenue.
For more information please contact Jodi Summers and the SoCal Investment Real Estate Group @ Sotheby’s International Realty – email@example.com or 310.392.1211, and let us move forward together.
Bet you didn’t know that the ancient Sumerian city of Uruk was one of the first master-planned cities. Uruk was situated on an ancient channel of the Euphrates River, some 30 km east of modern As-Samawah, Al-Muthannā, Iraq, The city was the main force of urbanization during the Uruk period (4000–3200 BC).
Like history? The Uruk epoch saw a shift from small, agricultural villages to a larger urban center with a full-time bureaucracy, military, and stratified society. Uruk period culture, exported by Sumerian traders and colonists, had an effect on all surrounding peoples, who gradually evolved their own comparable, competing economies and cultures.
Millennia has passed since the days of ancient Uruk, as well as other early planned cities such as Harappa, Lothal, and Mohenjo-daro in the Indus Valley Civilization (in modern-day northwestern India and Pakistan). The ruins of these antiquated cities display the earliest examples of deliberately planned and managed cities. Streets were paved and laid out at right angles in a grid pattern, with a hierarchy of streets from major boulevards to residential alleys. Archaeological evidence suggests that many Harrapan houses were laid out to protect from noise and enhance residential privacy; many also had their own water wells. These ancient cities were unique in that they often had drainage systems, seemingly tied to a well-developed ideal of urban sanitation.
The earliest multifamily dwellings date back to ancient Rome and the first century BC. The insulae (singular insula) were large apartment buildings where the lower and middle classes of Romans (the plebs) dwelled. The floor at ground level was used for tabernas, shops and businesses with living space on the higher floors. Ancient Roman insulae in Rome and other imperial cities reached up to 10 and more stories, some with more than 200 stairs.
Essentially, some elements of smart urban planning and harmonious living are thousands of years old. Today, as urban planners rethink livable cities and green communities, we borrow many elements of these early civilizations.
The past is a great source of ideas that work. “Density and adjacency increase sociability,” observes , says Donald Powers, principal of Union Studio Architecture & Community Design.
Time-tested elements like mid-block alleys – a staple of residential planning from the 1920s and ‘30s – lessen emphasis on the car. Small setbacks and stoops help houses relate to the sidewalk. Courtyards encourage interaction. Corners are important; houses built on them should play to the street. “Give 5 more feet to the corner lot and let the porch wrap,” affirms says Carson Looney, principal of Looney Ricks Kiss. “The house is just one element, not the element.”
“Built with craft and care, well-designed places that people want to spend time in never lose their luster. They remain vital and continue to appreciate in value,” offers Stefanos Polyzoides, principal of Moule and Polyzoides. A big part of is ensuring that there’s interest and variety in the streetscape.
Appealing neighborhoods are a long-term proposition. Forest Hills in Queens, N.Y.—widely seen as one of the most successful master planned communities ever—started 100 years ago; it earned that inviting patina over time. “Once upon a time, the trees were little twigs,” Powers offers. “Fifty years from now, people will say Kentlands was the Forest Hills of its time,” says Powers of the Gaithersburg, Md., community developed in the late ’80s. “One of the goals is to create a pattern that will be picked up on and connects the new with the old,” as opposed to erecting buffers between them.
“Four-foot sidewalks aren’t wide enough for couples to stroll, or for people to stop and talk and a baby carriage to pass by,” Looney says. “Four and a half feet is good, and 5 feet is better.”
“Each place is different,” says Speck, but “home builders who are interested in long-term value will insist that all streets are lined on both sides by trees approximately 30 feet on center.”
Experts agree, street trees should be as many and as big as the budget allows. Choose variations that are in full glory in the fall while others are blooming in the spring.
Design public spaces as outdoor rooms with a sense of enclosure. Configure them so storefronts face each other. At home, large front porches to encourage neighborhood interaction while providing a buffer for private living spaces. Special care needs to be taken for porches that are very close to the sidewalk. Savvy urban planners elevate these types of porches 3 feet or 4 feet to help homeowners feel comfortable with instead of vulnerable to action from the street.
“If you take the first tenant who comes along, you might end up with a cell phone store, a dollar store, and a liquor store,” instead of a coffee shop, a bookstore, a clothing store, and a restaurant, Powers advises. “Pick tenants that contribute to each other and to the public realm.”
All totaled, California has 111 billionaires – more than any other state. Indeed, if the Golden State were its own country, it would be tied with Russia for third-most billionaires in the world, behind only the United States and China.
More than one-third of California’s billionaires are in tech, focused in Silicon Valley. San Francisco has 20 billionaires alone, second in U.S. cities only to New York City’s 66. Palo Alto, Calif. ranks eighth among U.S. cities with nine billionaires, and Woodside, Calif. is tied for 10th with eight. In total, California billionaires personally hold assets worth $485 billion, more than the entire GDP of all but 24 countries in the world.
There are seven billion dollar property tycoons living in California, many of them own thousands of rental units. Indeed they are an admirable bunch…
|Rank||Name||Net Worth||Age||Source||Country of Citizenship|
|#60||Donald Bren||$15.8 B||82||real estate||U.S.A.|
|#328||John A. Sobrato & family||$4.8 B||75||real estate||U.S.A.|
|#443||Edward Roski Jr||$3.8 B||75||real estate||U.S.A.|
|#755||George Argyros||$2.4 B||77||real estate, investments||U.S.A.|
|#820||Richard Peery||$2.2 B||75||real estate||U.S.A.|
|#960||John Arrillaga||$1.9 B||76||real estate||U.S.A.|
|#996||Donald Sterling||$1.9 B||78||real estate||U.S.A.|