Institutional Investors Strike in Playa Vista Market
February 17, 2015

[In this article fomr online real estate publication, Industry Partners' Emmanuel Soriano provides some insight into why Playa Vista is on its way to becoming the heart of 'Silicon Beach' and some of the challenges that may come up.]

PLAYA VISTA, CA—The Playa Vista creative office market is fast becoming “the heart” of the Westside office market, according to the creative office specialists the Industry Partners, thanks to several recent lease transactions with mid- to large-sized tenants and the presence of institutional investors. The migration of media and tech companies is driving the surge in the market, boosting a total net absorption for the year of 295,281 square feet, according to the latest Westside office report from Industry Partners.

"Because of Santa Monica's amenity wealth, it has caused the market of available high quality creative space to decrease as firms vie for a great SaMo location—as is seen in our report, Santa Monica still has the lowest vacancy (and highest rents)," Emmanuel Soriano market and development partner at Industry Partners, tells "Playa Vista is less expensive, while still being close to the ocean and close to the social hot spots of Venice and Santa Monica. Even with Google and Yahoo!’s move, there is still plenty of space to be filled. Playa Vista is the Westside’s heart in that, with moves by Google and Yahoo!, it is already attracting an increased level of interest by firms (big and small) that want to be close to Google and Yahoo!. This co-location of tech firms will continue as existing square footage is occupied and new space comes online. And this co-location will be an incredible concentration of innovation."

Leading trends in the office market, Google signed a 300,000-square-foot lease at the historic Spruce Goose Hangar in Playa Vista, proving the tech and media giants are heading that way. The Industry Partners Westside office report shows that Yahoo! was right behind with a 130,000-square-foot lease at the Collective Campus while IMAX scooped up 66,000 square feet in town. Thanks to these pretty sizeable leases, Playa Vista is indeed becoming the creative hub of the Westside, with year-over-year absorption up more than 70,000 square feet.

The biggest news to make headlines, however, was Google’s announcement that it plans to purchase 12 acres at Wayne Ratkovich's Hercules Campus for $120 million. Although no official announcement has been made, it is expected that Google will build a new Southern California campus that would house up to 6,000 employees. If that happens, it could make Playa Vista the Silicon Valley of Southern California, and therefore, a major magnet for other tech and creative companies. But Google wasn’t alone. Acquisitions in the market surged at the end of the year, with Clarion Partners' acquistion of the 300,000-square-foot Latitdue 34 in the third quarter and Hudson Pacific Properties' and NSB Associates' major purchases totaling more than $50 million in the fourth quarter.

“With the opening of the RUNWAY, Playa Vista will also now have it’s own amenity base, which is something that it has sorely lacked,” says Soriano. “The only issue I foresee really stunting Playa Vista’s future as the creative office heart of the Westside is accessibility.  Playa Vista’s only main arteries of access are the 405 Freeway and Lincoln Blvd.  The benefits of the Expo Line will not be felt in Playa Vista unless firms in Playa Vista do what their Silicon Valley counterparts have done—shuttle in workers.” 

Taking a broader look at the Westside market, the report also shows that absorption rates were up with a total of 742,311 square feet from 527,341 square feet in 2013. This lead to a pretty significant drop in vacancy rates as well, down to 7.2% from 10% in 2013. Rental rates, however, only inched up to $3.68 from $3.58 a year ago.



10 Best L.A. Street Art Murals of 2014
LA Weekly
December 19, 2014

[In 2014, Industry Partners collaborated with LeBasse Projects to bring mural art to several of their listings.  The belief is that a building has the ability to enrich the cultural life of it users and the surrounding community through public art.  German duo Herakut worked on a piece called 'Striving for Truth' at 5340 Alla Rd in Playa Vista.  Industry Partners is proud to have the piece counted as one of LA Week's 10 Best LA Street Art Murals of 2014.  Click here to see the video of the art come alive at 5340 Alla Rd.]

This year should have been a pinnacle for street art in Los Angeles.  A 10-year ban on public murals was lifted at the end of last year, and our city, with unlimited walls and unmeasurable creative energy, was expected to become saturated with public color.  But, as is often the case in LA, bureaucracy got in the way.  



"Instead of the mural boom everybody expected, the city's confounding rules have led to the destruction of more murals than they've helped create," says Fredrik Lidskog, one of the city's premier cataloguers of street art. Murals by greats like Shepard Fairey, Ron English and David Choe have all been recently whitewashed because of bureaucratic nonsense.

The new freedom did, however, draw some fresh local artists and prominent international artists to try their skills on L.A. walls. While the old guard of former graffiti-heads such as Retna and Madsteez have been phoning in their new work, seeming more interested in connecting with wealthy collectors and brands than average folks on the street, a crop of new geniuses has flooded in to take their place. 

Striking, colorful, insightful new murals have popped up all over the city. The diversity of the neighborhoods in which they appear is matched only by the diversity of artists themselves. We have a Brazilian in Little Tokyo. A German in Playa del Rey. An Englishman in Culver City.

Below is a list of best works of 2014. We enlisted the help of four experts in the field, all respected researchers and photographers of L.A. street art:

  • Erin Mitchell of Lost Angeles Street Art
  • BJ DeHut of Gremlinhouse
  • Frederik Lidskog of Impermanent Art
  • Mitchel Dumlao of L.A. Street Art Gallery

The factors they considered were beauty, originality, political message and the diversity of the artists' backgrounds and locations of their paintings.

Here is our final list: