Currently, economic development in the City is mainly housed within the Mayor’s office. Thus initiatives are highly politicized and priorities change depending on who is in office, which provides no stability for long-term goals and partnerships.
- The City of Los Angeles owns more than 7,500 properties within its limits and thousands more in L.A. County and elsewhere, making it one of the largest municipal real estate managers in the country, but has no centralized office in charge of management and strategy.
- Currently, the City’s asset management functions are fragmented among various City departments (GSD, CAO, EWDD, LAHD, Rec & Parks)
- The CAO recommended establishing an interim entity called the Asset Management Strategic Planning unit (AMSP) in September 2012. Council responded by adopting part of the recommendation and established the Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) in April 2013. However, the second part of the CAO and CLA’s recommendation—the creation of a nonprofit corporation—was not acted upon.
Develop a municipal development corporation (MDC) to manage the City’s Real Estate Portfolio
- An established, de-politicized entity is necessary to optimize city-owned land and property. Outdated buildings, undeveloped land, brownfield spaces and air rights could generate value and a revenue stream to fund budgets and pay for vital infrastructure.
- A MDC could establish tax financing districts throughout the city utilizing state law to create Enhance Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFD) to capture new revenues and dedicate them to city priorities.
- Create a position within the MDC that is charged with analyzing potential policies and how they will impact business growth.
- Appoint a Chief Real Estate/Land Asset Manager to centralize City’s construction, sales, leases, development, joint ventures, etc… of city-owned facilities.
- Pair private sector real estate experts with City officials to assess and maximize the City’s real estate portfolio.
- Better leverage city financing tools.
- Maintain city owned properties in a manner that uplifts the community. All too often city owned properties from libraries to parking lots are community eyesores due to lack of maintenance.