New development near Culver City shows signs of real estate growth along light rail line

The recent grand opening of the Metro Expo Line light rail system is changing the infrastructure of Los Angeles transportation, and is poised to stimulate real estate development near rail stations. A recent article from the Los Angeles Times reported that construction is underway on a new $63 million Culver City mixed-use building on Washington Blvd. According to the article, the development will include 131 residential units in addition to restaurants and shops on the ground floor, and the project will be located next to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Expo Line. The development is expected to be one of many highly sought after developments in Culver City. Construction projects in the area will likely prompt higher values for Culver City real estate in Los Angeles. The apartments are reported to launch a grand opening in spring 2014.

According to a study published by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, proximity to transit stations often increases property value, which has made real estate in Los Angeles near new light rail stations a desirable commodity. The report concluded that local economies benefit from residential and commercial real estate development near public transit that might otherwise take place elsewhere within a region.

The study also noted that availability of transit can increase perceived real estate value among consumers. Because public transportation often contributes to pedestrian-friendly communities, consumers are more likely to pay a premium for real estate in areas that offer transportation savings through alternative transit options. The report suggested that quality transit can make properties desirable to a larger group of potential buyers who would like to save money on transportation or who do not have vehicle access.

The Los Angeles Times reported that developers are also keeping an eye on real estate near future light rail stations poised to serve a high volume of commuters, such as the Santa Monica train stop. The Metro Expo Line connects the Westside to major hubs such as Downtown Los Angeles and Pasadena, and will expand to include 80 stations throughout 87 miles of rail connecting diverse neighborhoods and suburbs within Los Angeles County. The rail lines are positioned to become an attractive alternative to driving on congested Los Angeles freeways during rush hour, and the estimated ride time from Culver City to downtown Los Angeles is less than 30 minutes.