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How the Olympics will change Los Angeles business districts

Hosting the Olympic Games gives cities a chance to present their best face to the world. And as the host city for the 2028 Summer Games, Los Angeles has taken on some ambitious projects to raise the city’s profile.

Perhaps the biggest initiative is Twenty-Eight by ’28, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s $26 billion plan for more than two dozen major transportation projects across the area. If the city can pull off the largest local infrastructure measure in U.S. history, it may not only dramatically alleviate L.A.’s infamous traffic problems, but it could also transform the City of Angels into a global business hub.

If that sounds improbable, consider that LA has already revamped its transportation system once as an Olympic site. When the city hosted the 1984 Olympics, it installed transportation solutions that are still relevant today. Long before the subway system and ridesharing, a robust system of buses, nighttime business deliveries, and increased carpooling helped ensure the roads of LA remained blissfully unclogged during the Games.

This time around, Los Angeles’ business environment stands to benefit in a couple of important ways from the sweeping changes in transportation.

The first boost comes by making it easier for companies to work alongside their customers and clients. During the Olympics, planners need to get people to all corners of Los Angeles County, from sailing in Long Beach to mountain biking in San Dimas. After the Games, the transit upgrades could allow businesses to reach their customers more easily.

Before, companies may have thought twice about whether it made sense to invest in office space away from their headquarters. But improved access to and from downtown makes the financial decision easier. Imagine putting an office down right in the middle of your customer base, so they have direct access to your sales force or business units.

The Twenty-Eight by ’28 plan could also benefit businesses by giving them increased access to a talented young workforce. When the last Purple Line station of the subway system opens in 2026, it will mark the first time students at UCLA in Westwood, Caltech in Pasadena, and USC in University Park won’t need cars to get them from campus to a job across town. 

Those Metro Rail extensions that will make it easier for college students to get to your office should also open up access to a lot of underserved areas, particularly around the airport. LAX, located at least 30 minutes from downtown and from the Wilshire Corridor, has always been difficult to get to and work near.

But El Segundo and the neighborhoods around the airport stand to become key business locations as these infrastructure projects roll out. WeWork has had a building at 222 Pacific Coast Highway that already puts you closer to the airport than ever before, and now there’s a second location coming soon at 2221 Park Place that serves El Segundo’s growing tech community.

One of the industries around the airport that has the potential to benefit greatly from improved access to talent is the aerospace industry. Last year, the Los Angeles Times reported that companies like Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing were making a big push to compete with tech companies for engineers and others with experience in software and artificial intelligence.

Finally, it’s interesting to compare the Twenty-Eight by ’28 project list map with a map of Los Angeles-area WeWork buildings. They match up fairly accurately, meaning that you’ll never be far from a WeWork location.

Check out the WeWork locations near you in the Los Angeles area.