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1100 Wilshire Invents New Ways of Making Money

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, November 08, 2005, at 10:59PM

One of the most effective measures in LA's Adaptive Reuse Ordinance was the reduction in parking requirements for converted buildings. It costs a lot of money to put the traditional 1.5 or 2 spaces per unit into a historic building, and one would like to think that in an urban environment there really wouldn't be a need for that many automobiles. But some places do have parking, and lots of it. For instance, 1100 Wilshire has 15 floors of it. That's what makes it a little odd to read this in the Times:

1100 Wilshire is selling parking spots for $15,000 to $20,000 a pop, offering new residents, who are paying $400,000 to $1 million for their units, the chance to wrap the cost of their spaces into their mortgages.

Purchasers get the rights to two unreserved spaces with their condo, but those spots are on the upper levels of parking. The unending spiral ascent through 1100 Wilshire has long been a weak spot for the building. I know I read articles suggesting that as one of the many causes of the building's failure years ago. I fail to follow the argument that this is going to lead the building's residents to use transit.

From the article:

By charging separately for parking, said Shoup, author of "The High Cost of Free Parking," 1100 Wilshire in effect encourages use of public transportation by residents of the building, which is just a few blocks from a Metro subway stop.

"Unbundling the parking gives people a new choice," said Shoup, "Maybe it will deter people who want to own three cars, and encourage people who own only one. This is exactly the direction L.A. ought to be moving: People who use less parking pay less for housing."

I fully agree in the generic case, but I really don't see this as a consideration for 1100 Wilshire. The 110 freeway is an abyss that few cross. Take the fortress of the Medici, place it 16 floors up in the air and you've basically got 1100 Wilshire. I really don't see many of the people buying into that building walking down to 7th/Fig to catch the subway.

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