Carol E. Schatz

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Carol E. Schatz
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Los Angeles
CitizenshipUnited States Of America
EducationLoyola Law School
Alma materUniversity of California
OccupationCivic Leader
Spouse(s)Fred Muir

Carol E. Schatz (born 1947) is a Los Angeles civic leader who is credited with leading the renaissance of Downtown Los Angeles in the 1990s and 2000s.[1]


As the CEO of two business organizations based in Downtown, Schatz led an effort that saw the creation of tens of thousands of units of new housing, and similar growth in new jobs, businesses and new residents to Downtown Los Angeles, which by the 1990s had become a 9-to-5 commuter community that was empty after dark.[2] These efforts were crucial in transforming Downtown Los Angeles into the economic engine for the Los Angeles region. During the period known as the renaissance of Downtown, 50,000 new housing units were constructed in Downtown and more than $30 billion was invested. DTLA became the home of thousands of new businesses and over 168,000 new jobs were created.[3] Schatz was President and CEO of the Central City Association of Los Angeles from 1995 to 2016, when she retired, and President and CEO of the Downtown Center Business Improvement District from its founding in 1998 to her retirement in 2018. Her unofficial title recognized by many was “Queen of Downtown."[4] Schatz was the first women to be named president of the Central City Association, founded in 1924, and is credited with reviving the floundering organization and building it into one of the most potent lobbing forces in the city.[5] The Los Angeles Times named the Central City Association one of LA’s “Power Centers”. “Once a dominant power and the front for the California Club crowd, the association floundered for several years but has resurfaced as a lobbying force at City Hall under the leadership of president Carol Schatz."[5] In 2018, in recognition of her efforts in leading the Downtown renaissance, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to name the intersection of Hope Street and Wilshire Boulevard, “Carol Schatz Square.” The City Council noted her “unwavering passion and fierce advocacy for DTLA."[6][7] Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “Carol’s tireless leadership and extraordinary vision helped turn Downtown into one of L.A.’s most vibrant neighborhoods. Today’s dedication (of Carol Schatz Square) means that Carol will forever be known as a catalyst for lasting change in the heart of our city."[6][8] Schatz was promoted to CEO of CCA at a time when Downtown Los Angeles was struggling as a business center during the day. It was largely empty after dark, and with a tiny number of market-rate residential units. The community grew to more than 50,000 full-time residents and was seen as one of the more trendy neighborhoods to live in.[9] In naming Schatz one of Los Angeles’ “Women Making a Difference, the Los Angeles Business Journal said, “Under her leadership, the DCBID and CCA have helped transform what was once a “9 to 5” district into one of the hottest urban communities in the country."[10] In 2014, GQ magazine named Downtown Los Angeles America’s "Next Great City" and "The coolest new downtown in America."[11] Schatz’s initiatives included proposing and advocating for the passage of the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance (ARO) in 1999 that made it easier to renovate old office buildings into housing, transforming downtown. It led to a wave of new housing construction but at the same time preserved downtown LA’s historic structures. Schatz also aggressively pushed for the LA Live and Staples Center projects, which brought a world-class sports arena and entertainment center to Downtown.[1] Schatz sparked the creation of and helmed the DCBID. The organization provides cleaning, safety and marketing services in Downtown and launched programs to recruit restaurants and retail businesses, office building tenants and developers to build new housing and commercial buildings.[1]

Personal life

Prior to her work in Downtown, Schatz had careers in banking and law. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley and her Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School.[12] Schatz was born and raised in Los Angeles. In 1986 she married journalist Fred Muir, and has one child with him, Jake Muir, a noted composer and producer of Ambient style music.[13]


  • Board of Directors – Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority 1995-1997[14]
  • Board of Commissioners – Los Angeles Convention and Exhibition Center Authority 2003-2005[15]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Facebook; Twitter; options, Show more sharing; Facebook; Twitter; LinkedIn; Email; URLCopied!, Copy Link; Print (2016-01-14). "Q&A: 'Everything has changed' in downtown L.A., Central City Assn. chief Carol Schatz says". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-12-17.
  2. Facebook; Twitter; options, Show more sharing; Facebook; Twitter; LinkedIn; Email; URLCopied!, Copy Link; Print (2013-11-06). "Carol Schatz, a force for downtown L.A." Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-12-17.
  3. Audi, Tamara (2013-12-28). "Los Angeles Gets Serious About Its Downtown". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-12-17.
  4. Regardie, Jon. "Carol Schatz to Step Down From Running CCA". Los Angeles Downtown News - The Voice of Downtown Los Angeles. Retrieved 2020-12-17.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Facebook; Twitter; options, Show more sharing; Facebook; Twitter; LinkedIn; Email; URLCopied!, Copy Link; Print (1997-06-22). "POWER STATIONS: Where SoCal's Political Elite Meet". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-12-17.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Regardie, Jon. "Hope and Wilshire Becomes Carol Schatz Square". Los Angeles Downtown News - The Voice of Downtown Los Angeles. Retrieved 2020-12-17.
  8. Downtown Center BID News (2018). "Carol Schatz Square" (PDF). Downtown Center BID News. Retrieved December 17, 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. Regardie, As told to Jon. "Carol Schatz's Wild Ride Over 25 Years in Downtown". Los Angeles Downtown News - The Voice of Downtown Los Angeles. Retrieved 2020-12-17.
  10. Los Angeles Business Journal (May 11, 2015). "Women Making a Difference 2015" (PDF). Los Angeles Business Journal. Retrieved December 17, 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. Nast, Condé. "America's Next Great City Is Downtown L.A." GQ. Retrieved 2020-12-17.
  12. "Schatz, Carol E. - Los Angeles Police Department". Retrieved 2020-12-17.
  13. McGehee, Cate (2017-01-18). "Sound Artist Jake Muir on Field Recording, Sampling, and Video Games". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved 2020-12-17.
  14. "City of Los Angeles Officials". Retrieved 2020-12-17.
  15. "MS. Tunua E. Thrash". September 26, 2005. Retrieved December 17, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

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