USC Coach Buys $2M Condo Near LA’s Skid Row

The real estate website Curbed.com reported on a landmark purchase of a downtown Los Angeles condo this week.

Kevin O'Neill buys $2M condo a half-mile from L.A.'s skid row

($2.15M to be half-mile from skid row?)

USC basketball coach Kevin O’Neill reportedly may have spent more money on a downtown L.A. condo resale than anyone in history.

Kevin O’Neill, head coach of the USC Trojans basketball team, plunked down $2.15 million for a penthouse in Elleven in South Park, a sale which is being billed as the biggest resale in Downtown by real estate agency Loftway, which handled the deal.

Apparently O’Neill knows something about downtown Los Angeles the rest of us don’t. For some context, a 2008 report noted a condo in New York City selling for $80 million.

Downtown Los Angeles has gotten a lot more livable in recent years thanks to the development of Staples Center and the L.A. Live entertainment district, but the immediate area is home to what locals still call, “skid row”, which is the largest concentration of homeless in the United States.

And the Clippers.

In O’Neill’s defense, pretty much everywhere you go in downtown L.A., you’re a mile or two away from skid row - and USC is only a 10 minute bulletproof-windowed drive without traffic. (In other words, 25 minutes.)

There is a distinct demarcation line where homeless people on skid row are allowed to roam by the LAPD. 7,000 to 8,000 people live in the area in cardboard boxes, tents and shelters and there’s no movement afoot to clear the area of the downtrodden populace.

O’Neill’s digs are about five blocks away from the epicenter, which probably isn’t visible from his penthouse. Probably.

If L.A.’s skid row sounds like the third world, it’s because it is.

Welcome to L.A.’s dirty little secret.