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Downtown L.A. is Turning Into Rodeo Drive, Dubious Survey Says

Downtown L.A. is Turning Into Rodeo Drive, Dubious Survey Says
Courtesy Stephen Zeigler

Despite a huge increase in homelessness countywide, downtown L.A. is really turning into Rodeo Drive.

That's the impression you'd get if you read the latest Downtown Center Business Improvement District demographic "study," which is really just a tally of data from people who decided to click on its website. Totally unscientific:

Yeah, basically the business improvement district, an organization formed to boost downtown's business fortunes, asked folks to weigh in with info on their income, housing and wishes for the area.

All good, but it's hardly a real survey or poll, even though the district calls it a "comprehensive survey" of "self-selecting" participants:

You could always lie. And how could you be sure all these folks actually live in downtown proper, as advertised? Yeah.

Anyway, some of the interesting results:

-67 percent of respondents want a Nordstrom!

-39 percent want an H&M.

-50 percent want an Apple store.

Downtown L.A. is Turning Into Rodeo Drive, Dubious Survey Says
Downtown Center Business Improvement District

Of course, 100 percent of the homeless -- thousands of them live downtown -- want your leftovers. And a shower.

The survey claims that more than one in four downtown residents (26 percent) makes at least $150,000 a year. Believe that? Us neither.

The median income in Beverly Hills is $85,560, according to the U.S. Census.

If this were truly a "comprehensive survey," it would have asked the inhabitants of the area's many residential hotels, and oh, the curb, what they make, which would sometimes be $0 a year.

And that would radically reduce the alleged median income, $98,700, downtown. Wouldn't it?

Sure, there are some upscale residences in DTLA. But not everyone lives in them.

By the way, if you want to see what a real comprehensive survey looks like, check out the recently released Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, in which dozens of people fanned out to find homeless on the street, check shelters, and query the residential hotels downtown.

That document reports an 18 percent increase in homelessness since 2011, with 53,798 living without permanent roofs over their heads in L.A. Skid Row isn't broken out separately.

But it's clearly an an epicenter for SoCal transients, given that it was established as the official magnet in the county for homeless services.

Contrasting that number, the business improvement district says there are 52,400 permanent residents in the so-called new downtown.

Now maybe you know why we're so skeptical.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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