$3.1 billion evaluation despite homelessness crisis.
By Sam Catanzaro
Fifteen years ago, Venice Beach was known around the world for its funky vibe, eccentric locals but certainly not its real estate values. Fast-forward present day, however, and while the funky vibe and eccentric locals remain, the low real estate prices are a relict of history. In confirmation of this upward trend, a new study finds that Venice Beach is the most valuable beach in the world.
“Venice Beach is forever associated with the bohemian vibe of Los Angeles; its name is synonymous with Californication,” wrote Canvas Holidays, the organization who carried out the research. “It’s no surprise that this world-famous beach tops our list with a super-sized value of £2.39 billion ($3.1 billion).”
Canvas Holidays, a UK based travel company, determined this value by multiplying a beach’s size by the average cost per meter squared of an apartment in the area. Venice Beach’s $3.1 billion evaluation narrowly beat runner-up Bournemouth Beach in England, valued at $2.9 billion. Third on the list is Brazil’s Copacabana Beach in Rio De Janeiro, valued at $1 billion. Venice Beach is only one of two beaches in the United States that made the list, the other being Waikiki Beach in Hawaii.
In contrast to this multi-billion dollar evaluation, however, is the high number of individuals experiencing homelessness in Venice. According to the 2018 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, Venice has 58 percent of the total number of individuals experiencing homelessness in Council District 11, and yet only 7 percent of the population in the District live in Venice. In addition, with tech giants like Google and Snapchat driving up real estate values, the contrast between wealthy and lower-income individuals experiencing homelessness has become acute.
“All day you’ll see Mercedes, Maseratis, BMWs and Range Rovers going into Gold’s Gym and then you see this,” said Bruno Hernandez, Executive Director of The Setting the Pace Foundation, referring to the high number of individuals experiencing homelessness living on Third Avenue right next to Gold’s Gym and Google.
While the City of Los Angeles has put a significant amount of resources into tackling the homeless problem facing Venice Beach and the rest of the city (including $1.2 billion in bonds to construct housing) the impacts of the issue are often seen directly on the world’s most valuable beach. Until last month, the City closed beach bathrooms along Ocean Front Walk at night. As a result, many individuals experiencing homelessness were forced to defecate on the beach, leading to a Hepatitis A outbreak in the area.