If the nature of work is changing and giving office workers more options and flexibility, then central business districts like DTLA need to change too – becoming the place people want to be when they work. While this is a complex and nuanced topic involving a wide range of factors, fundamentally it comes down to thinking differently about what has made DTLA an appealing destination for office tenants in the first place.
For example, access to public transit has always been a key asset for DTLA. As long as face-to-face engagements remain part of doing business, the accessibility offered by DTLA will remain vital. However, rather than thinking of it primarily as a way to move a mass of people in and out in the morning and the evening, it could serve more varied and flexible needs and schedules. The new Regional Connector exemplifies this, providing better access to more places within Downtown and around the region to enable Metro to serve a broader set of passengers.
Similarly, a major appeal of DTLA is its diverse range of retail, food, and beverage options. Although some existing businesses catering narrowly to office workers may need to adjust, offerings with broader appeal will continue to thrive. Moreover, the growing residential population and increasing number of visitors and tourists means more opportunities for a wider array of retailers and service providers to enter the marketplace.
DTLA Retail Report: A Guide to the Future of Retail in Downtown Los Angeles
“DTLA is high-profile, influential, and trend-setting – all the things that build great brands. DTLA is IRL – not virtual – it’s a place to be, and do, and eat, and meet – all the things that make life rich, that you can’t do online. Combined with its central location, wealth of infrastructure, transit accessibility, and public spaces, DTLA is a place where people and businesses thrive. “
Many employers have cited the dynamic nature of the urban environment as a major benefit. The density and diversity of activity and amenities within a walkable environment makes Downtown uniquely convenient for residents and workers alike, enabling them to accomplish more in less time and, crucially, without a car. The fullest expression of this concept is found in the community of people who both live and work in DTLA.
In our annual survey of DTLA residents, workers, and visitors, the live/work segment consistently reports the highest levels of satisfaction with the area, with 78% saying they love DTLA.
Parks & POPS
444 South Flower
Bank of America Plaza
City National Plaza
Grand Hope Park
Los Angeles State Historic Park
By recontextualizing the assets and advantages that made Downtown LA a premiere destination for office tenants, we see how it can thrive in an era of increased work flexibility. With variety, convenience, and compelling places and experiences, DTLA has already proven to be a place where people will choose to spend their time, working or otherwise.