Tom Gilmore was born and raised in New York. Trained in architecture and design, he headed a small architecture firm in New York before moving to Los Angeles in the early 90’s. Shortly after moving to Los Angeles, Gilmore got involved in real estate and development when he worked for Sentinel Real Estate, which owned the International Jewelry Center. In 1996, the building was sold to Judah Hertz and Gilmore was eventually appointed President of Hertz Investment Group where he acquired and leased several historic structures in Downtown Los Angeles.
In 1998, Gilmore decided to work Downtown real estate on his own when he formed his own development firm, Gilmore Associates, to acquire and rehabilitate under-utilized historic properties in the Historic Core of Downtown Los Angeles. He began to couple his vision for Downtown Los Angeles as a thriving urban environment with a primary focus on rehabilitating historic buildings.
His vision of a vibrant urban community would largely be developed after the proposal and passage of the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance in 1999. The Adaptive Reuse Ordinance allowed developers to create Downtown housing through the conversion of commercial buildings much easier and less costly than before with the goal of stimulating even more redevelopment Downtown.
As the first developer to utilize the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance in Los Angeles, which opened up a new avenue for the renovation of the city, Gilmore has been a driving force in the redevelopment of Los Angeles’ urban spaces and a major catalyst for Downtown’s revival and great residential boom.
His vision of a new Downtown that held on to its historic roots led him to purchase 4 abandoned historic buildings; the Continental, the Hellman, the San Fernando, and the Farmers and Merchants National Bank, all of which are located in Downtown Los Angeles, and have since been coined the “Old Bank District.”
He has been recognized for his tenacity in transforming Downtown Los Angeles into an exciting, urban living environment that embraces not just the history but the neighborhood that surrounds it.
In 2010, Deborah Blum created a 12 ½ minute biographical clip of Tom for the History Channel. Please click to view: Tom Gilmore DocuLifeMovie
- Writer/Director: Deborah Blum, Editor: Anne Stein