What with the plague raging in the streets, I continue to be surprised how much commercial and residential construction is going on. It is as if, when the coronavirus finally goes away (if it ever really goes away), there will be people to fill those new offices, apartments, and condominiums for whatever top dollar figure the owners intend to charge. There will be talk of the city insisting on affordable units, but we all know that no one wants to build affordable units. My fearless prediction is that there will be a large number of vacancies and —given that the homeless population is growing by leaps and bounds—there will be a big problem with squatters.
Mayor Gil Garcetti of Los Angeles is being either naive, or is selling out to real-estate interests—a time-honored Southern California practice. In West Los Angeles, I see scores of new buildings going up, side by side with scores of old buildings that have been red-tagged and scheduled for the wrecking ball, and, in the meantime, occupied by bums.
Another interesting point: I do not see any corresponding effort to accommodate the increased traffic flow that will result if the new building space is occupied. My feeling is that the mayor feels that the construction of the Expo Light Rail Line will solve all problems. I don’t mind taking public transportation, but I am very clearly in the minority. Most people I know think that terrible things happen on those trains. Even Martine is hesitant to ride them. Me, I have no problems.
Also, Garcetti thinks that the thousands of homeless will be delighted with the housing the city will supposedly furnish for them (by reconverting old motels, hotels, etc.). But most of the homeless are not interested in following any rules such as not drinking, taking drugs, or smearing shit all over the walls.
Interesting times lie ahead.