LOS ANGELES-A special business-building team formed by Mayor Richard Riordan is close to approving a deal that calls for Downtown high-rises to encourage more retailers to take ground-floor space, a key move that would help create a “24-hour” atmosphere in LA’s much-maligned central business district.

Officials inside the Mayor’s office tell GlobeSt.com that the most likely plan would prompt owners to accept a four-to-one commercial-to-retail ratio. Under it, the owner or builder of a typical 400,000-sf building would dedicate at least 100,000 sf for retail purposes.

Although details of the plan still need to be fleshed-out, “it will involve restricting first-floor use of these buildings and reserving them for retail space,” says Jeff Walden, a spokesman for the Mayor’s Business Team.

The proposal marks the Mayor’s biggest attempt yet to strike a balance between Downtown’s growing number of telecommunications companies and the gaping need for retail establishments. While office-building owners have welcomed the telecom firms, others note that most telecommunications tenants fill their space with huge machines and miles of cable, but relatively few employees who will shop at Downtown stores, eat at local restaurants or have drinks after work.

Without more retail establishments and after-hours spots, some observers say, the CBD is destined to remain a nine-to-five market that becomes a veritable ghost town after the last office worker ends the day and drives back to the suburbs.

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