Friday, June 27, 2008

Starbucks and City West

I work across the street from the Starbucks on in the Glo building on Wilshire and Bixel, and it's truly amazing how much it's changed the neighborhood in just a few months. The store is more and more crowded with each passing week and you see a lot more people walking down the street. You have your typical yuppie types who live in Glo and 1100 Wilshire, but there's also local office workers and employees from Good Samaritan Hospital.

This stretch of Wilshire has always been deserted--1100 Wilshire was an abandoned office building and before Glo was built, the site was an empty lot. But now it actually feels like a neighborhood instead of just a corridor between Vermont and Downtown.

When I first saw the new condos going up, I thought the developers were nuts. But they are filling, even if a some of them had to convert to rentals. Apparently, a lot of the apartments are rented by USC students, which kind of boggles me because a) we're not all that close to USC and b) college students can afford those rents? I guess USC students really are rich bastards.

We still need more restaurants and retail in the neighborhood. But I think that the success of Starbucks is going to draw in more businesses. And unlike the wars over Broadway's development, bringing in more chain stores and more yuppie businesses (for want of a better description) isn't going to displace pre-existing retail.

4 comments:

Stephen said...

Don't forget about Vero and its swarm of retail about to change City West forever:

http://www.angelenic.com/747/subway-sandwiches-now-serving-city-west/

Anonymous said...

Since you're nearby, I highly recommend the fruitstand vendor opposite Good Samaritan hospital on Whitmer. Insanely good with limes, salt, and chile, never found one better in LA.

JonathanD

Brian said...

We looked in that area when trying to find a place to live. All the new construction seemed exciting, but you could also tell a ton of students were going to live there and we just weren't willing to put up with some of that.

As for the USC students - I have to come learn that many of them are 'trust fund kids' so take that for what it's worth.

Li said...

Jonathan, thanks for the tip--good for dessert after eating at La Parilla.