Affectionately called “Mr. Downtown” and “Mayor of Downtown,” Hal Bastian is a celebrity in Bunker Hill. From Mayor Eric Garcetti and Eli Broad to retail clerks and janitors, everyone knows Hal and his dog, Scooter.
If you live or work in downtown, have a business there or simply fascinated in its evolution but don’t know Hal, you’re simply missing the point. As a thirty-three year, commercial real estate veteran, Bastian was instrumental in the renaissance of downtown LA and its redevelopment into the metropolitan Mecca we now love. His network is as vast, diverse and priceless – and as gay – as a world-class art collection, admired and sought-after by many.
For thirteen years, Bastian was the Executive Vice President & Director of Economic Development for the Los Angeles Downtown Center Business Improvement District. He created housing tours for downtown that have been going on for over a decade. He helped to recruit more than 300 restaurants, bars, nightclubs and retailers including the Daily Grill, Bottega Louie, Ralphs Fresh Fare and Urban Outfitters. He produced three special events in New York City targeting the investment bank community to encourage investment in DTLA developments, including both residential and commercial projects.
In October 2014, he founded Hal Bastian Inc., his own consulting firm dedicated to building an even better DTLA and helping other downtowners to use the best practices he has developed for DTLA in their city centers. It is a downtown revitalization consulting company based in and focusing on downtown Los Angeles.
In 2015, Hal created “What’s Up Downtown?”, a web based show about all the great things going on in DTLA, including residential and commercial developments, new restaurants, bars and nightclubs, old favorites and most importantly, the people.
What’s Up Downtown’s popularity has attracted an impressive list of corporate sponsors and can be seen at Halbastian.com.