Business & Economy

What business would boost home prices in your community?

SAN RAFAEL, CA - FEBRUARY 17:  A sign is posted in front of a Whole Foods store February 17, 2010 in San Rafael, California. Whole Foods Market reported a 79 percent surge in first-quarter earnings with a profit of $49.7 million, or 32 cents a share, compared to $27.8 million, or 20 cents a share, one year ago.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN RAFAEL, CA - FEBRUARY 17: A sign is posted in front of a Whole Foods store February 17, 2010 in San Rafael, California. Whole Foods Market reported a 79 percent surge in first-quarter earnings with a profit of $49.7 million, or 32 cents a share, compared to $27.8 million, or 20 cents a share, one year ago. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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A national study from Zillow suggests that home prices go up when there's a Starbucks in the neighborhood. The study, published in the new book "Zillow Talk," shows that homes closest to their local Starbucks appreciated the most.

In Los Angeles, where the Seattle-based chain pocks the landscape, the effect may be less obvious.

But a few local real estate experts said one company that does excite neighborhoods right now is the high-end grocery chain Whole Foods.

In October, Burbank announced that a Whole Foods store was coming to the area. Real estate agent Eric Benz said the project concerned some residents, who worried about traffic congestion, but it delighted others, especially young people.

Benz said he's already seen it marketed in a real estate listing for a property that is near the future grocery store.

"One of the things the listing agent is doing is touting that you'll be able to walk to Whole Foods from that property, and that has generated some excitement in some buyers," Benz said.

Many residents in Downtown Los Angeles are hoping a Whole Foods will move in —  someday, according to Brigham Yen, who writes the blog Downtown L.A. Rising.

"Resident-serving amenities like Whole Foods — and if a Traders Joe's does eventually open up here — those are the types of businesses that really appeal to residents," he said. The first residents living downtown had to travel quite a ways to get groceries or a mop. 

When a Ralphs store opened several years ago, residents were overjoyed. They had the same reaction to the addition of a Target in 2012. They made downtown more livable — and bolstered new demand for rentals and condos, Yen said.

Chris Abbot, a longtime real estate agent in Silver Lake, said that while the neighborhood has seen many businesses open up shop in the past decade, it has not yet gotten a Whole Foods. And residents are wanting.

"I think (residents) look at is, as — it's a convenient location for the community. It will also provide items that Trader Joe's or Gelson's cannot provide," he said. "They want something that they can just pick up on the way home from work that can be flavorful and healthy, and I think Whole Foods offers that."

But when it comes to what makes people buy, Abbot said, it's still the traditional markers, like the quality of the schools. Those have boosted prices in Silver Lake in recent years.

"They've gotten good school ratings," he said, "and that's brought in a lot of people with families."