Los Angeles—City Controller Ron Galperin released PropertyPanel, the most comprehensive map ever produced of properties owned by the City of Los Angeles and issued a call for L.A. to appoint a Chief Asset Manager to oversee its extensive portfolio of real estate holdings.
The Controller’s goal in releasing the information is to enable the City to capitalize on its real estate holdings, which include police and fire stations, pools and parks--but also a wide-ranging collection of commercial, residential and industrial buildings, as well as vacant land.
“Now everyone can know what we all own a piece of,” said Controller Galperin. “The extent of the holdings revealed by this map shows that we as a City have the opportunity to engage in widespread economic and community development, as well as to generate revenue for much-needed City services.”
Galperin noted properties owned by the City serve many community needs and benefits. However, there are also many properties that are underutilized, and which could better serve the public as public space, revenue-producing income property, low-income housing…and much more. He added that some properties might benefit from being re-purposed by the City, while others could generate more value for Angelenos by being leased, sold or developed by the City, or in public/private partnerships.
“PropertyPanel.LA is intended as an informational tool, as a resource, and as a call to action for the City to undertake a more organized, professional and strategic approach to our valuable shared public assets,” said Controller Galperin.
Toward that end, Galperin issued a letter that called on the Mayor and City Council to appoint a Chief Asset Manager with private sector real estate experience to oversee the City’s property portfolio.
“It’s time to take the guesswork out of our processes and empower someone with real estate expertise to develop an overall strategy for the City and create mechanisms by which the City can hear from those who have ideas for how we can put these properties to their best use,” said Controller Galperin.
The map was created using data from the Los Angeles County Assessor and the City's General Services Department. It shows that the City’s approximately 9,000 parcels include land at and around its airports and the Port of L.A., as well as properties owned by the Dept. of Water & Power, the nation’s largest municipally owned utility. Galperin noted that in addition to what’s mapped, the City has holdings in other California counties. His office plans to map those holdings in future releases.
Galperin, who has a background in real estate law prior to becoming L.A. Controller, first examined the City’s real estate portfolio as Chairman of the City’s Commission on Revenue Efficiency (CORE). A report issued by CORE specifically urged the City to review the 100+ properties owned by the City that are rented to various nonprofits at well-below market rates--typically $1 per year. The map released today allows people to filter and view those and other properties.
More about PropertyPanel: Visitors to PropertyPanel can search the map by address, Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN), Council District or by drawing their own maps. The site provides satellite, list and ESRI Street and Google Street views of L.A.’s holdings. Users can download and print maps and lists of properties in their neighborhoods, which they can share with others.