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Los Angeles is a place where you’ll never be bored, and that’s especially true when you live downtown. This sunny neighborhood is ground zero for the best entertainment in the city as well as home to many major corporations. But bring a healthy bank account before you get in line for a place of your own, because everyone else wants to live here, too.
- Public transportation: Los Angeles Metro rail and bus
- Highly diverse
- Young professionals (mostly between ages 18-34)
- Established professionals (mostly between 35-49)
- Few families
- Highway 10
- University of Southern California
- USC Medical Center
- Staples Center
- Grand Central Market
- Los Angeles Music Center
- Grammy Museum at L.A. Live
Downtown Los Angeles in 3 Words: exciting, busy, revitalized
When people think of Los Angeles, out-of-towners are more likely to think about Hollywood. But Downtown L.A.—or DTLA, as it’s sometimes called—is in the midst of several years of revitalization and has become an exciting center of urban life you won’t want to miss. An influx of professionals has also brought in more upscale restaurants and shops. Instead of just coming to this neighborhood for the entertainment, then spending hours in traffic to get back to the suburbs, downtown has enough options that you never need to leave.
If you love major concerts and sporting events, you’ll definitely want to take an apartment downtown since this is where all the city’s major venues are located. The Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall is an architectural marvel where the design amplifies the sounds of the symphony. For those whose tastes run more to current radio artists of any genre, you’ll catch them at the famous Staples Center (at least on nights when the L.A. Lakers aren’t playing basketball here.)
Renters in Downtown Los Angeles especially love its urban life, with walkable neighborhoods surrounded by skyscrapers. But when you want a getaway to the beach, it’s only a 10-mile drive to places like Venice Beach and Pacific Palisades. Surfing and swimming are only some of the ways that people stay fit, though. Residents of downtown Los Angeles are some of the fittest people around, and they maintain their fitness at a number of gyms and facilities like UEVolution and the high-end Future Health. Downtown also has a 4-mile hiking trail through the neighborhood that will take you by some historical sites.
Finding an apartment for rent in downtown Los Angeles may not be quick or easy, so make sure you’re allowing plenty of time to find one. A combination of high interest in the area, limited stock, and low vacancy rates all contribute to the challenge. Once people move here, they tend to stay because it’s such a great neighborhood. That means there’s not a lot of quick turnover of apartments. But that also means renters here are emotionally invested in where they live, so it will be worth a little extra trouble for a space to open up.
Los Angeles has a reputation for not being the most pedestrian-friendly city, but downtown is an exception. You can walk to legendary bars like Villains Tavern to hear talented live musicians and order refreshments—ask the bartenders for recommendations, because their unique drinks are exceptional. Catch a game or a show at the Staples Center and walk to the nearby Salvage Bar & Lounge for some pre- or post-game festivities.
Hop over to the Little Tokyo enclave in downtown for some fabulous ramen at Daikokuya—it’s definitely worth the long lines. If weekends aren’t complete without brunch, Bottega Louie is as unforgettable for their service as for their colorful macarons.
Renting in downtown Los Angeles also gives you great, up-close access to cultural events galore. The El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument—locals just call it Olvera Street—is the site of the oldest remaining structure in L.A. and the Mexican market looks just like old Mexico. The Broad (pronounced Brode) museum just opened in late 2015 and is home to more than 2,000 works of contemporary art by more than 200 artists.
Now that you’re convinced that downtown Los Angeles is where you want to be, get cracking right away on finding a place. Most apartments for rent in this area are lofts or condos in high-rise buildings. Nearly every apartment building also has an onsite pool and rooftop patio, and most have high-end appliances and granite countertops for a look that’s decidedly upscale. Some even have multiple onsite fitness studios and private climate-controlled wine cellars.
Renting in downtown Los Angeles requires a healthy pocketbook, and there are few bargains to be had here. But when you want your slice of the good life, this is the right place!