That would be the influx of restaurant and retail investors who have determined that the downtown makeover is not an illusion (even if the housing market is fading fast). The Downtown News breathlessly catalogs the interest from merchants ranging from Walgreens to Pinkberry. Typically, retailers are the last ones to sign onto a redeveloped community because they want to make sure that the revival is real. The rundown opens with a fellow named Emil Eyvazoff describing his soon-to-be opened restaurant and nightclub atop the 811 Wilshire Building. "This restaurant will offer outdoor dining high above Downtown for the first time," said Eyvazoff. "This is very New York, very Tokyo. Those are the places you find an establishment like this." (More hayseed comparisons with other cities. Why does L.A. have to be another NY or Tokyo? Why can't it just be L.A.?) From the DN:
Take, for example, the Pacific Center next to the Biltmore Hotel. For more than a decade real estate firm CB Richard Ellis carried the listing on the 12,200-square-foot space, with little more than passing interest from would-be renters. Today, the landlord has offers from two tenants who want in and are willing to pay rents pushing $3.50 a square foot per month - about $1.50 higher than last year for the area. "In just the last two to three years there has been over a 100% increase in activity," said Derrick Moore, who heads retail for CB Richard Ellis' Urban Redevelopment Group. "It's not uncommon to have half a dozen letters of interest for each and every space whether it's in the Central Business District, South Park or projects in Little Tokyo like the Hikari, which is getting some of the highest [residential] rents."