What Happened to Curbed LA?
Vox Media announced last April that they would close several regional Curbed sites, merging them into New York Magazine in a move that saw staff furloughed or laid off as part of the transition process. Curbed has officially returned as an autonomous vertical on this platform, joining other homegrown verticals like The Cut and Vulture.
Vox Media’s acquisition of New York in 2019 resulted in the curated real estate and urban design website incorporating some of its individual city editions, including Los Angeles. Curbed LA was then reintroduced as an editorial vertical on the New York magazine website’s newly rebranded homepage as Vulture or The Cut stories were shared regularly through Curbed LA. Curbed’s website remains online,, while weekly emails featuring Los Angeles content will still be sent.
Vox Media-owned publication Vox has endured a difficult couple of months. Nine percent of their staff has been furloughed due to the coronavirus pandemic, while dozens more have seen hour reductions or pay cuts or accepted buyout deals; it remains unclear why, although an internal memo sent earlier this month cited financial pressures as one cause.
Vox recently made headlines by ending support for Curbed’s local city sites, folding them into New York magazine instead. This move was intended to make their national real estate and urban development-focused website more sustainable as a business venture.
New York’s revised Curbed, still behind a paywall, should maintain national reach while more closely aligning itself with its core product: New York Magazine’s flagship publication. Now Curbed will sit within its “New York” section like other homegrown verticals like The Cut and Vulture.
Curbed’s new iteration will focus on all of New York: architecture and design, neighborhoods and characters, power brokers and rabble-rousers, and “lively, urgent conversations” about what cities can become during rapid change. Curbed will also have a new feature called “Cityscape,” providing macro-level market analyses, micro-level listings, and curiosities about our topic of conversation.
Curbed, a 14-year-old real estate and urban design publication owned by Vox Media since 2004, is making a comeback–albeit with some limitations. Following their purchase of New York Magazine by Vox in September 2019, many regional Curbed sites were folded into New York Magazine by Vox, cutting most staff positions across these regional sites as part of that transaction. Now Curbed is returning as a distinct vertical on New York Magazine’s website alongside The Cut, Vulture, and The Strategist verticals.
Vox reports that this move puts Curbed “on a path that’s editorially ambitious while making the brand more sustainable as a business,” according to a Vox spokesperson. While Curbed will still operate behind a paywall, its new look gives an organized space for stories related to architecture and urbanism; neighborhoods; personalities; real estate; policy issues and politics; and power brokers and radical activists who made Curbed famous in its earlier form.
Los Angeles offers plenty of action. From Chinatown’s rapid development to the near completion of the Crenshaw Line, dozens of projects underway will fundamentally change our city – new parks, subway lines, or public art installations like Destination Crenshaw. Each change contributes towards shaping our community in its unique way.
There is still no word about when the Los Angeles site will reopen; however, its archives are already online, and a weekly email newsletter continues. During this pandemic, Vox shut down their Eater, SB Nation, and Verge sites, drastically reducing employee hours.
After 13 months of indecision and instability, Curbed is back under new management with an improved identity and paywall. On Tuesday, it relaunched as part of New York magazine as an autonomous vertical site alongside localized New York sites like The Cut and Vulture.
This site will focus on New York City’s architecture and design, neighborhoods and characters, real estate policy issues, power brokers, and rabble-rousers. Still, it will also extend nationally into an ongoing, vibrant discussion about what cities might become as we witness the rapid transformation.
Curbed has successfully transitioned into its new home with some aspects from its old one remaining, such as “Design Hunting,” which features unique finds, aesthetic inspiration, and product-hunting expertise from The Strategist. However, Curbed will also cover new topics, like “Ugly Buildings,” which specializes in finding New York’s most offensive buildings, and “Cityscape,” which examines cities through micro-market analyses and curiosities.
Curbed Cup trophy will not make its annual pilgrimage; instead, this year’s winner – San Pedro – must settle for an invisible virtual trophy as their prize.