The Los Angeles Rams haven’t even arrived in Los Angeles yet, but the football team is already beginning to change the city of Inglewood, where they’ll build the NFL’s biggest stadium (it’s set to open in 2019). The LA Times reports that, though it’s only been a week since the official announcement that the Rams would be relocating from St. Louis, “investor interest in commercial real estate surrounding [the Rams’] future home” is newly booming. The blocks around the future stadium have plenty of retail and commercial space—the immediate area around the future venue is described as “strip malls and gritty auto body shops”—and investors are sniffing around all of it, anticipating the rising property values that they believe will come once the stadium’s complete.
One real estate agent spent months waiting for a good offer on an empty retail space on La Brea; in the post-announcement week alone, he got six. It’s no wonder that real estate agents are making the stadium connection in listings already, with teasers like “Within blocks of the new stadium development.” The heightened interest is notable especially since, as an economist from the College of the Holy Cross tells the Times, stadiums usually only boost property values immediately next door, and that they don’t usually have a noticeable affect on property values beyond a half-mile from the venue.
The stadium is, however, one more huge addition to a budding destination and entertainment district in Inglewood. For about two years, the city has had a big-time entertainment draw in the fabulously renovated Forum, which sits to the north of the future venue. The massive mixed-use complex rising on the old Hollywood Park property, adjacent to the future stadium, is underway too. When it’s complete, it’ll bring 2,500 residences, office space, a hotel, retail, and a 6,000-seat venue.
Right now, Inglewood’s average monthly lease rate for retail space is $1.43 per square foot and vacancy is at 5.9 percent. The average for the LA metro area is $2.31 a month per square foot and 4.7 percent vacancy, according to CoStar Group. Office space is even more available and inexpensive: Inglewood has a 27.4 percent vacancy rate and averages $1.61 per square foot per month; the average for the LA metro is 11.2 percent vacancy and $2.71 per square foot. It seems like those numbers aren’t going to stay low for long, at least not around the new football stadium.