Sometimes it is really difficult for me to enjoy the local paper. There was the best of Downtown, which celebrated all the wonderful corporate and franchise restaurants, (At least DN fessed up to sharing my concerns and made some changes for 2011.) and now there's this article about the parents who are fleeing the neighborhood because we lack school.
Can I just say "what total crap" and move on? No. I can't. I can say - what an incomplete, half-assed article. I love Tricia, she's a neighbor, her daughter is almost two months older than mine…but this article is total crap and fails…FAILS to paint the full picture of the Family Situation in Downtown Los Angeles.
And, I'm going to tell you why. (and listen Richard…nothing personal, but I know Downtown News can spare the space…you missed a key point)
Housing prices, specifically rental prices.
Take note: Overall average rental prices did go down between 2009 and 2010, but the average rental prices for two bedroom units did not experience the same kind of dramatic fall. (http://www.apartmentratings.com/rate?a=MSAAvgRentalPrice&msa=4472)
Rental prices have increased for both one and two bedroom apartments in Los Angeles - but the rate of increase between one to two bedrooms is more significant. http://www.apartmentratings.com/rate/CA-Los-Angeles-Pricing.html
Meaning - there's a need for two bedroom places, there's not enough rental housing stock for families.
If you are a City of Los Angeles family that needs more than two bedrooms, you are just utterly and completely screwed. Screwed…as the average rental rate for a 3 bedroom unit is over $3,000 a month…and there's only about 146 of those available. Two bedrooms: Average is about $2500.
In our neighborhood, Rentometer says that we should expect to pay $2800 a month for our two bedroom apartment. Thank you to Pegasus…we pay under that. We have seen the units that run for $2300, $2500, $2800 and higher…we cannot afford to live in a place for more than $2300 a month. And, we are a two income, white collar household.
There are plenty of DTLA families who purchased their units - they cannot just up and move. Either because they lack any equity in their mortgage and cannot sell their unit, or they truly love their neighborhood and they've made a commitment to make it all work out.
Additionally - you have to ask why parents are moving to the better LAUSD schools. I understand that individual schools haven't been rock star schools forever. Parents, students, administrators and teachers before us made a commitment to making that school the way it is. There's a school in our backyard that is poised to repeat that track. Why not be a part of it?
Housing prices, regardless of where you are at in the City of Los Angeles is breaking the back of her residents. My husband and I know plenty of people who have not just moved from DTLA because of schools…they are moving because the higher value of the housing stock, neighborhood, and the entire school district. (Looking at you La Canada Flintridge, Pasadena, and South Pasadena)
So, Richard…you missed something. People aren't leaving >just< because we lack a Cheremoya, Solano, Allesando, or an Ivanhoe today, doesn't mean we can't have one tomorrow. Parents are leaving because they are getting priced out of the neighborhood, overall concern regarding LAUSD, and other likely more personal preferences and beliefs.
I should just stop right there...but ANOTHER THING, if there are so few families and children in DTLA, why is the Kid City South Park program FULL? Why was the Biltmore Hotel's Gingerbread Man thing...FULL. Why was the CCA's halloween event FULL. When Little Tokyo hosted two Yo Gabba Gabba episodes...PACKED! There are a lot of kids in DTLA...the kids in the neighborhood are not clumped together in the Hipster Heaven Historic Core (You know I love you guys) or even the Financial District...they are stuffed in overcrowded apartments in South Park. There are well over 500 children in South Park. There's a big reason why the survey completed didn't catch that...the survey was only available in English. Maybe next time the survey is done, add in a couple of Korean, Spanish, or even Japanese copies and see what comes back. Fuck...you'll see that we will still have a market for Target, Nordstrom Rack, Petco, and a motherfucking Gymboree.
See...I almost went the whole blog entry without a potty word. Fuck it...I need a nap.