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LOS ANGELES-I knew downtown Los Angeles before it was cool. Besides growing up near the Echo Park area, I took the plunge in mid-2000 and staked a claim in Chinatown in a dumpy old condo on Grand Avenue. From there, I moved on to the Toy Factory in the Artist’s District, and then became a City West resident at 1100 Wilshire.

Downtown had a magnificent buzz as condos were beginning to price as if they were in the New York market reaching the $1,000 per square foot stratosphere. Local names like Shy, Gilmore, and Needleman were creatively pushing the envelope with adaptive reuse projects because there was a CRA to help.

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