Los Angeles, California is the second largest city in the United States in terms of population, and at nearly 470 square miles, it is also one of the largest in land area. As a center of international trade, manufacturing, banking, and tourism, Los Angeles offers a wide range of office space for rent. With over one million square feet of positive absorption recorded for Los Angeles through second quarter 2014, the commercial real estate market is strong. Commercial space for rent is available to firms in the burgeoning tech and new media industry, retailers in the fashion district, manufacturers of steel and other products, banking and finance, and to any other imaginable industry. As Los Angeles has lower asking rents than saturated markets like Seattle and San Francisco, bargain hunters have energized the commercial real estate market as they search for good value leases among Los Angeles rental offerings.
With almost 10 million people in the Greater Los Angeles area, the city has a niche for every industry. The largest manufacturing center in the West, Los Angeles workers manufacture apparel, computer and electronic products, fabricated metal, food products, furniture, agricultural equipment, and much more. Los Angeles operates one of the world’s busiest ports, and with easy access to the transcontinental rail and major trucking centers, the city has become a major player in international trade. Los Angeles has the largest retail market in the United States, a prime opportunity for retailers of every kind. Job creation is on the rise, with 2.2% expansion in the labor force between April of 2013 and April of 2014, due to technology, entertainment and media, new start-ups, construction, and professional and business services. Finally, tourism continues to shore up the economy, as more than 25 million visitors flock to Los Angeles each year.
The hilly terrain of Los Angeles is bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the west and south, the San Gabriel Mountains to the east, and the Santa Monica Mountain foothills on the north. Los Angeles has more museums and theaters than any other U.S. city, as well as music and art forums renowned the world over. The Getty Center, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Page Museum at the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits, and the Hollywood Wax Museum are popular destinations for tourists and residents alike. Aficionados of movies and theaters won’t want to miss a trip to Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and the renowned “Walk of Fame” sidewalk. Three of the nation’s most visited theme parks are in or around Los Angeles (Disneyland, Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Knott’s Berry Farm), and sports fans have rich options in every sport category for rooting on the local team (NBA Clippers and Lakers, NHL Kings, MLB Dodgers, WNBA Sparks, and MLS Galaxy). This cosmopolitan town has shopping opportunities galore, including the exclusive offerings of Rodeo Drive, eclectic shops at Melrose Avenue, and quirky finds at Westwood Village.
The first Europeans to explore the Los Angeles area were Gaspar de Portola and a group of missionaries who camped along the Los Angeles River in 1769. Just two years later, Franciscans constructed the Mission San Gabriel nine miles to the north. In 1781, the tiny adobe settlement of El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles was created; by 1840, it had become Southern California’s biggest town. Population booms caused by the gold strike in 1848, as well as the discovery of oil in 1890s set the stage for the bustling metropolis that Los Angeles would become. In the early 1900s, the city established itself as a center for the motion picture industry, and had earned itself the “Tinseltown” nickname by 1930. The big city was considered the height of modernity in the 1950s, but in the 1960s, traffic congestion, smog and pollution, and racial unrest tarnished the city’s image; riots in the 1990s due to a racially charged police shooting illustrated that the city had not quite overcome this problem. Today, the city has come a long way toward easing racial tensions, and continues to be a sleek and modern city.
Residents of Los Angeles have a wide range of education and skills, making the workforce employable across many industries and skill-levels. With citizens hailing from 140 nations and speaking 224 languages, this metropolis is one of the most ethnically diverse in the world. Nearly a third of residents have a college education, which is above the national average, but 18.3% of all families live below the poverty level, which is also just higher than the national average. While the city itself has 3,857,799 residents (2012), the metropolitan area encompasses close to 10,000,000 people that work, go to school, and play in the city.
Los Angeles is becoming a new hot-bed for technology companies that are found especially in “Silicon Beach” (Santa Monica area), but also in West Los Angeles, the South Bay, and Downtown. Vacancy rates and rents have stabilized after the recession due in part to these migrations. Asking rent is trending upward for both industrial and office space; leasing activity is projected to remain healthy.
Firms choosing to lease in Los Angeles will find ample downtown space in Bunker Hill, a haven of high-rises on the western size of the city. The Financial District has a hip, upper-class population, and commercial offerings heavy on banks, law firms, and real estate companies. South Park is on the south side of downtown, and is a hub for fashion and entertainment. Suburban real estate markets include Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles North, San Gabriel Valley, South Bay, Tri-Cities, and Westside. Large users have shown increasing interest in the new creative area of Playa Vista.