New initiative looks to convert empty office buildings into housing in downtown LA

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

An effort to fast-track the conversion of empty office spaces into housing in downtown Los Angeles has developers and historic preservation groups working together to make it happen.

Advocates of the new initiative say downtown Los Angeles is filled with deserted office buildings due to workers shifting to work from home, a trend that started during the pandemic.

“The nature of work, how people work, where they work, has changed fundamentally,” said State Assembly Member Matt Haney. “Our downtowns still are built for a time and a way of work that’s not coming back anytime soon.”

Haney said he would like to see more empty buildings converted into housing to fit the needs of each downtown. However, he added that the process is a long and difficult one.

“Right now its hard to convert many offices spaces even empty buildings because of red tape because of unnecessary bureaucratic delays and fees,” said Haney.

Haney’s bill would require cities to fast-track the conversion of empty buildings. The bill has gotten support from developers and even preservationist, who made additions to the bill to make sure historic buildings are protected.

“So it’s really looking at protecting the integrity and the features of the building,” said Cindy Heitzman with the California Preservation Foundation. “It’s not going to cure the housing crisis but it’s more steps we could take to increase housing and do it in a way that steps and protects historic resources.”

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.