Study: downtown L.A. Streetcar to bring $1.1 billion in new development

L.A. Streetcar StaplesA study by AECOM released today reveals that the proposed $125 million downtown L.A. streetcar system would bring major economic returns to the city center in the form of new development, job creation and tax revenue. AECOM is a “a global provider of professional technical and management support services” and was retained by the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA/LA) and Los Angeles Streetcar, Inc. to study the economic impact of the streetcar project.

The study, which can be viewed here, was based on the longest route alternative currently being studied – a 4.75 mile loop around downtown that serves major districts including Bunker Hill (Disney Hall), the Financial District, South Park (L.A. Live, Staples), the Fashion District and the Historic Core.

The study looks at both the short-term economic impacts of construction and the long-term economic impacts of having a fully operational streetcar running in downtown. Long-term predictions are compared to a baseline projection without a streetcar.

The main findings include:

  • Development of nearly 675,000 square feet of new and rehabilitated office space, with construction costs valued at $210 million
  • Development of 2,600 new housing units, with construction costs valued at $730 million, providing housing for 3,600 new residents
  • 7,200 new construction jobs over the development period, with employee compensation of approximately $500 million
  • 2,100 new permanent office, retail, entertainment, and hotel jobs with employee compensation of approximately $120 million annually by the end of the study period
  • 5,800 new hotel room nights from new convention and business visitors
  • New retail, restaurant, hotel, and entertainment spending reaching up to $24.5 million annually over the course of the development period
  • $47 million in cumulative City of Los Angeles tax revenues during the 25-year development period

Funding for the project has not yet been secured but typically funding is a mix of federal, local and private money.