L.A. Is Officially a "Boom Town" of New Construction

If you've lived here for a while then you know it's been some years since the cranes have been rocking and the construction workers have been clocking hours on the job.

Blame the Great Recession of 2007, sure, but even before that L.A. development was relatively stagnant, especially as we looked enviously west across the Pacific and saw Chinese metropolises rising from the dust.

You can blame L.A.'s notorious NIMBYs, who don't like development, sure. But the truth is that it takes an ungodly amount of cash to buy and build these days, particularly when it comes to mega projects of the type we're now seeing in town.

The cash has arrived.

Particularly from Asia. L.A. is well positioned to grab new Asian money looking for fairly safe places to park, such as American real estate.

Using figures from Dodge Data, Forbes this week analyzed the value of new construction projects—from single-family homes to office towers—in major American cities and came up with a list of "Metro Areas With The Most New Construction In 2014."

Los Angeles made number 5.

The metropolitan region saw $7.7 billion in "construction starts" from January to September, the magazine says. That represents a 9 percent increase compared to all of last year.

But get this: Construction has boomed by 23.6 percent since 2012, Forbes says.

L.A. Is Officially a "Boom Town" of New Construction
wilshiregrandcenter.com

The publication says the biggest project start so far this year is the $261 million Grand Avenue Condominiums downtown.

The $1 billion Wilshire Grand skyscraper, brought to you by Korean Airlines and other interests, broke ground last year and points to that Asian investment we told you about.

See also: L.A. City Hall is Giving $39 Million of Your Cash to Chinese Developers

Shanghai-based Greenland Real Estate Group is throwing another $1 billion at downtown, in this case for a three-tower, 19-story project.

Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled billions.

A new eave of oil money was causing some construction gushers in Texas, however, and Houston (number 1) and Dallas (3), beat us on the Forbes list. New York, home of the 1 percenter, came in second. Washington, D.C. was fourth.

Enjoy the view.

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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