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Vertical Living on the Rise in Los Angeles: 10 Before-and-After Images Show Dramatic Skyline Changes

Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood

A city known best for its sunny weather, superb scenery, and vibrant entertainment scene, Los Angeles is also home to an incredible diversity of buildings and architectural styles. From glass skyscrapers to Art Deco towers and Mediterranean estates, L.A. has everything you could dream of in terms of architecture – even impressive heights as of late.

Although most of L.A.’s tallest buildings were constructed before 1991, the city has seen significant changes over the past ten years, with sparkling office buildings and residential high-rises pushing the skyline to new heights. With the help of Google Street View, we traveled back in time and pulled out images of the L.A. of 2007 to compare it with the L.A. of today.

Here are some of Los Angeles’ most interesting developments that have added more poise and vitality to the city’s streetscape.

Simply drag the arrow bar back-and-forth to view the old and the new images.

1. L.A. LIVE, Downtown LA

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The L.A. LIVE development or “the most entertaining place on the planet” has had a lot to do with Downtown’s revitalization. The vibrant venue continued what the Staples Center had started in 1999 and became a catalyst for the area’s recent growth. It welcomed its first visitors in 2007 with the opening of the 7,100-seat Nokia Theatre.

The focal point of the district is a stunning, 54-story tower that was built in 2010. It houses The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles and JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE hotels, as well as 224 luxury condominiums – The Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. LIVE. The developer, Los Angeles-based AEG, plans to break ground this year on a new, 38-story building at the northeast corner of Olympic Blvd. and Georgia Street which will add 755 rooms to the complex.

2. 8th+Hope, Downtown LA

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A former parking lot in the south-western quarter of downtown L.A. was replaced with a gleaming 22-story tower featuring 290 one- and two-bedroom apartments. Dubbed 8th+Hope, the luxury rental community was completed in 2014. The building includes a state-of-the-art fitness center, an outdoor pool with cabanas, a rooftop terrace, and more.

3. Luxury Rental Towers, South Park

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South Park has seen a lot of new development, especially between 2007 and 2009 when three new high-rises popped up on the horizon. The second building on the left called APEX. The One is a 30-story luxury high-rise featuring studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartment homes with resort-style amenities.

Across the street from the APEX, another towering structure made its way to downtown L.A. WaterMarke Tower is a 35-story luxury apartment building located at 705 W 9th St, just a short walk away from the dynamic L.A. LIVE and Staples Center.

Also situated in close proximity to L.A. LIVE, 717 Olympic opened in 2008 on the corner of Figueroa Street and Olympic Boulevard. It goes 28 floors up into the sky and offers upscale residences with hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, and expansive windows.

4. Evo South, South Park

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Rising 24-stories above South Park, the Evo condo tower offers incredible views of Staples Center, LA Live, and Hollywood Hills. The classy building comprises 311 contemporary lofts and condos, as well as 5 two-story live/work townhomes with private gardens.

5. The Emerson, Bunker Hill

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Related Cos.’ The Emerson aims to set a new standard of apartment living in the city’s cultural center. The 19-story luxury rental building is LEED Gold certified and features exquisite amenities including an outdoor pool and spa, a penthouse entertainment lounge with stunning views, a fitness center, on-site garage parking, electric car charging stations, and more.

6. The Vermont, Koreatown

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The 464-unit Vermont apartment building made the headlines last year when it sold for $283M in one of L.A.’s biggest commercial deals of 2014. The Vermont consists of two towers – one 59 stories tall, the other 23 – and is located at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Vermont Avenue. It was completed in 2014.

7. Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood

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It hasn’t been long since its first residents moved in and the 22-story Sunset Gordon apartment building is already facing troubles. The property’s developer, CIM Group, is in the midst of a long-running court battle over invalid construction permits. The latest ruling asks the developer to remove all existing tenants from its Hollywood property. The building comprises 299 luxury apartments and its estimated value surpasses $70M.

Just across the street, the Emerson College Los Angeles shines as a fine example of modern design. The sustainable 10-story ELA opened its doors to students in 2014 and includes amenities such as computer labs, study areas, a fitness facility, suite-style housing, and a lounge area with large-screen TVs.

8. Midtown Crossing, Mid-City L.A.

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Built in 2012, the Midtown Crossing retail center features 496,040 square feet of commercial space. The property sold in February 2015 for a whopping $186M.

9. 1600 Vine, Hollywood

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1600 Vine is a luxury apartment building in Hollywood. It offers modern studios, apartments, and townhouses with scenic views of the Hollywood Hills and Downtown LA.

10. Beverly West, Beverly Hills

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Located right next to the Los Angeles Country Club, this luxury high-rise is called Beverly West Residences. The building features more than 150,000 square feet of living space and offers 35 expansive suites with panoramic views.

What are your favorite new developments around town? Let us know in the comments section below.

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About the author

Ama Otet

Ama Otet is an online content developer and creative writer for RENTCafé. She loves all things real estate and strives to live beautifully, one green step at a time. You can connect with Ama on Twitter or via email.

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