George Lucas Museum Is Nothing But Good News If You Own Real Estate Near LA’s Exposition Park

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George Lucas is bringing a galaxy far, far away to the ever more accessible Exposition Park just south of Downtown Los Angeles. And it’s not just Star Wars fans and art connoisseurs who should be partying like an Ewok in celebration of good things to come from the arrival of his epic Museum of Narrative Art, which just broke ground in March and will open in 2021.

According to real estate transaction data from HomeLight, and top agents in the area we identified who spoke about the record-breaking development of Exposition Park and its surrounding districts in recent years, if you’re a property owner in the surrounding area, you’re probably in luck.

Expect to see positive impacts on your neighborhood, community and local property values as the spaceship-inspired cultural gem lands in your backyard, adding a new, otherworldly dynamic to an already-bustling scene of shops, restaurants, educational facilities and sports venues nearby.

“It reminds me of the NFL stadium coming to Inglewood,” said Todd Jones, a real estate agent who ranks in the top 2 percent of agents in L.A. “A lot of people saw that as a great opportunity for real estate, and we saw a great demand in Inglewood with that coming because they knew that there was going to be a lot of demand for housing and a lot more people in the area. This isn’t as big as an NFL stadium, but it’s certainly going to be a very positive draw.”

“Downtown is getting so excited,” added Brian Maser, a leading Los Angeles real estate agent who ranks in the top 10 percent of agents when it comes to local condo sales. “You’ve got bars, restaurants, shops you name it. It is bustling at night; every once in a while it feels a little bit like New York.”

Maser spoke to the general refurbishing of historical buildings and new projects that are increasingly making the area an arts and fashion hub — and exciting place to live and work. The iconic museum coming to life will just add momentum to housing appreciation and the development of new units in the area, which is already happening at a fast pace.

“A few years ago, people thought of Downtown as a lost cause, and they said they should focus on the suburbs, but it’s just proven to be completely untrue,” said Carol Wolfe, who ranks in the top 1 percent of agents in Los Angeles for successfully selling homes. “I grew up in L.A., and you never used to go Downtown, unless you wanted to go to the theater or something. You never would think to live there. But now it’s an area where you can live and work, and they’re just building so much new housing — and shopping centers, office buildings and mixed use. It’s just incredible.”

Days on Market Down, Value Up Around Museum Grounds

Maser provided HomeLight with four years of data from condo transactions, which we used to verify our own historical sales data, to show the increase of real estate activity in the area surrounding the highly-anticipated museum.

We looked at year-over-year condo transactions in the area between November and May, going back to 2014. This year saw an increase in average sales, from an average of about 206 condo transactions to an average of 217. The data also shows that condos are selling much quicker, with recent days-on-market averaging over 10 days faster than that of years past.

The sales price of condos are moving on up, as well. The average price per square foot is averaging in the mid to low $700s, according to Maser’s estimations. There are about 105 active properties on the market right now, most of which are condos and townhomes, and about 60 in escrow. Overall, the total monetary volume of the transactions over the past four years is rising 7 percent year-over-year.

So, while we’re seeing a slow-moving trend, it appears that the real estate market in the Exposition Park area is on the rise. Condos are selling for more money and faster than they did in any of the previous three years, and there’s a healthy amount of market activity in the area.

“The more you give into the community and help the community develop and add value from big capital like this project — the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art — it’s going to help add value … especially when you add culture,” Maser said. “Culture brings in intelligent minds and creativity, and those are the groups that usually spur development.”

Bottom line: The market is hot, and it’s a great time to sell property in the area, but all of these attractions make it an ideal place to stay awhile and let values increase, too (if you’re willing to deal with some short-term hassles related to the construction).

“As important, hopefully this new development will also spur development in some of the low-income areas south of Exposition Park, and around those areas,” Maser said. “You’ve got a lot of properties around there as well that aren’t just condos and townhomes.”

Win-Win for Lucas and the City of Angels

Exposition Park started as an agricultural park in 1872 and a few decades later began transforming into the recreation and museum hub it is today, according to the park’s website. It’s home to the renowned Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and has hosted two Olympic Games and two Super Bowls.

Lucas shopped the 275,000-square-foot museum around to San Francisco and Chicago before he found a home for his billion-dollar baby in L.A. The attraction will create thousands of jobs in construction and over 300 permanent positions for employees.

Overall it’s estimated that museums contribute about $21 billion to the U.S. economy. They create higher level job opportunities and, from a community perspective, bring cultural and educational elements to the mix while attracting intelligent minds, which only stand to bring in more investors, firms and future housing developments.

“Exposition Park is already an exciting area and a destination point for people all over the city and people who come to tour Los Angeles go there — it’s easy access, you have the train systems that get you there near Downtown, there’s a lot of activity,” Maser said. “You’ve got big games from USC (University of Southern California), all the education going on there, so anything added to that area is nothing but good because it gives the local folks, and people coming to visit, additional options to go see.

“And who doesn’t like George Lucas?”

Article Image Source: (Owen CL/ Unsplash)