Downtown LA

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Downtown Los Angeles is the central business district of Los Angeles, California, located close to the geographic center of the metropolitan area.

The area features many of the city's major arts institutions and sports facilities, a variety of skyscrapers and associated large multinational corporations and an array of public art, unique shopping opportunities and the hub of the city's freeway and public transportation networks.

Downtown's increasing gentrification has been particularly noticable in Skid Row, where development interests and police crackdowns have precipitated the displacement of its large homeless population. Between 2006 and 2007 the police reported a nearly 50% decrease in the number of people found living on the streets. Skid Row's indigent have largely migrated to the surrounding areas of Hollywood, South Los Angeles, Echo Park, and Santa Monica, straining those communities' already over-burdened shelters and homeless services.

Downtown is also home to the Music Center, a complex of music and theatrical halls which imitates the architecture of New York's Lincoln Center. In 2003 the Walt Disney Concert Hall opened to increase the number of major theaters at the Music Center to four. Also in the building is the smaller Redcat theater and art studio. Near the Music Center are the Museum of Contemporary Art, or MOCA, and the Colburn school of performing arts.

Down the hill, Little Tokyo still contains businesses with Japanese roots. Some of the buildings and sidewalks date back to the 1800s and still include hitching posts for horses. Little Tokyo also contains the Japanese American National Museum and another Museum of Contemporary Art campus.

The South Park area of town includes the Los Angeles Convention Center and STAPLES Center. Many lofts and apartments are being built in this area, which is seeing a much needed revival.

The Old Bank District is the center of the loft movement downtown. A number of developers have purchased old buildings and are converting them into residential lofts.

Gallery Row is a creative district in the Downtown Historic Core.