Los Angeles Office Long Term Trends – 1920 to 2015

Mark Daniel by Mark Daniel, Vice President of Partner Relations at RealMassive, A.B. Economics Stanford University
Using data available through the Los Angeles County Office of the Assessor I have created a map showing the distribution of “investable” office space in Los Angeles by zip code. This excludes the category for small office and includes the following:

Office, Hi-rise, >= 6 floors

Office, Large, >35,000 sq. ft.

Office, Medium, 10,000 to 35,000 sq. ft.

I also removed properties with appraised values of less than $50 psf. (7.6%) and those with initial construction dates pre-1920 (1.2%).


The darker the zip code, the higher the total square footage. We will focus here on the three zip codes with the greatest amount of total square footage. First is the dark zip code to the west of downtown (90071), followed by the CBD (90017), then by the darker zip code above Torrance (90245).

90017 and 90071 are located centrally and share a border as show below.



90245 is the El Segundo area, located south and west of Central L.A., just south of LAX.


While 90071 has the greatest amount of square footage it is housed in a comparatively small number of large buildings, 15 of them with an average of 1 msf. When ranked by number of buildings, this zip code actually comes in 79th.


Map courtesy of Project Atlas


Click Here if you would like to request free access to the interactive version of the map which will allow you to look into each area in more detail. Notation displays address, year built, square footage, and most recent appraised value as shown above.

Data for the top 10 zip codes is as follows:


If we break all 3,445 buildings into “year built” we can view some interesting trends.

Office construction ran at a relatively low pace from the 20s to the 50s, picking up significantly in the 60s growing 168% from 12.5 msf to 33.5 msf. Growth continued at a rate of 37% for the 70s, then there was an explosion of construction in the 80s – another 121% in increased construction to an unprecedented 101.6 msf spread throughout the county as shown below.


This construction boom was fueled by tax breaks, easy money, and foreign investment as outlined in an article from National Real Estate Investor.

In all the years since the 80s up to 2014 the county has only managed to build another 50 msf in total.


While the bar chart shows totals well, it does not show the geographic dispersion over time. This can be viewed in the animation below. Click here to view the animation in a larger format, more slowly, and with the ability to pause.

LA Office GIF

View Animation of 1920 – 2015

Contact Project Atlas if you would like free access to interact with this visualization.

Contact me to let me know what market/property type you would like to see highlighted in a future post.

This data was compiled using data available through the Los Angeles County Office of the Assessor. Maps provided courtesy of Project Atlas. Project Atlas comes pre-loaded with historical construction activity and current appraised values for commercial property types in your markets. Click Here for more information on how you can use Project Atlas, or send an email to

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