Howard Hughes would likely be surprised to see what has become of his Helicopter testing facility. The community of Playa Vista has sprung up seemingly overnight on those grounds to become one of the most talked about neighborhoods in America. Now housing offices or other facilities for dozens of the top names in tech and their suppliers, the area forms the hub for Silicon Beach. Even the Hugh’s Helicopter hangers were purchased by YouTube and have become a hangout for the tech crowd.
Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, and Facebook all have major footprints in the Playa Vista neighborhood, creating a massive demand for housing. Their employees are drawn to the Playa Vista mixed-use master plan that provides shopping and entertainment within walking or cycling distance of both home and job.
It isn’t just high-paying tech jobs and a walkable neighborhood that are creating massive demand for the few available apartments, homes, and condo’s on the small strip of land. Proximity to beaches, LAX, and major universities provide additional tangible benefits. Of course West Los Angeles is best known for its concentration of entertainment businesses like Sony, Fox, TriStar, and Lions Gate. The combination of tech, entertainment, and educational facilities is a powerful draw.
Wherever tech lives, the money follows. Playa Vista and Silicon Beach start ups are attracting monumental amounts of funding from venture capitalists. The availability of venture capital money creates a draw for startups to come to the area, and the cycle repeats and repeats.
What is it about mixed-use?
Los Angeles may or may not have invented sprawl, but it certainly is example one for anyone studying residential development patterns. The lack of density created by cheap and plentiful land produced a perfect compliment to the age of relatively cheap and autonomous transportation, the car. It is cliché to say that Angeleno’s love their cars.
And now comes the shift. The Southland continues to get denser as more and more population growth chases ever-smaller amounts of good places to build, and knock down and re-build. Even industry is being driven out in favor of residential units and supporting businesses like grocery, restaurant, retail, and service companies.
With density, the “Green” movement, and a generation of young adults who have less interest in cars, many communities have seen the opportunity to radically change the way businesses and residences interact. Taking a cue from historically dense cities like New York, the concept mixes business on lower floors with residences above and offices space next door or in your loft. The development of Playa Vista has taken the idea further to create a community within a large city. Amongst the variety of housing, there are parks, a fitness trail and luxurious recreation facilities sprinkled throughout. Those who live there are quick to say that they rarely need to leave the area for their basic needs. The resort lifestyle is furthered with community programming of concerts and movies in the park, and their own Playa Vista bus to take you to and from the beach free of charge.
All this good stuff makes Playa Vista pricey
You can still buy a condo in Playa Vista for under $1,000,000, but barely. A 1300 square foot unit will cost in the neighborhood of $850,000. Homes and Townhomes start closer to $2,000,000, and you can spend close to $3,000,000 for larger homes over 3,000 square feet. Homes are all on very small lots, or have no yard other than the common area.
Renting is not much of an option. 700 sq. ft. bachelor units start at around $2000 per month, one bedrooms at $2500, two bedrooms for $3400, and you can easily spend $4000 a month or more depending on location and amenities.
If you are hoping to buy or lease in Playa Vista, or if you currently own a residential property and need to sell, call me to discuss your options. I have experience with property in that specific neighborhood and can help you with the entire process.