LOS ANGELES–ORANGE COUNTY, CA

Many of the issues that have been facing the Los Angeles (LA) market represent new opportunities for the construction industry.

Earthquakes and wildfires pose unique threats to the city, but the ways that officials have chosen to combat them can potentially add billions of dollars to an already very active market. Buildings will need to be renovated to comply with the city’s seismic ordinances, while changes to the city’s zoning laws will open up new parts of LA to high-density developments. The last few years have been a challenge, but there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

The next few years should be relatively tepid for the LA market. America’s second-largest city has only grown by about 5% over the last 20 years, and it is likely slowing down as a higher-than-average cost of living deters prospective residents. Construction employment only made modest gains in 2021 and unemployment is still very high. These will hinder the city’s recovery for some time. LA is also expected to invest heavily in transit in the coming years, as single-use zoning has led almost all available land to be built on. The city is betting that walkable, interconnected neighborhoods will bring people back to the city center and in the process alleviate some of its environmental woes.

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* Other structures include religious buildings, amusement, government communications, and public recreation projects.
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