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 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 is 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 startups 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 an 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 bedroom 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.
Playa Vista Planned Community
A Look at a Futuristic Neighborhood in West Los Angeles
We love the suburbs or at least the idea of the suburbs. Quiet tree-lined streets away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. A place where you know your neighbors and your neighbors’ kids. There’s Little League, AYSO, and Girl Scouts, but there’s also tennis and golf.
However, it turns out that we also love the city or at least the idea of the city. Diversity, charm, public transportation, walkable, with great restaurants, cultural centers, parks, and shops. Of course, in this idealized urban setting, there would be none of the crime, derelicts, trash, or other craziness associated with most inner cities.
The developers of Playa Vista understood the trend. They had the happy duty of developing one of the last large parcels of land in all of Los Angeles County, but certainly in WLA. They set out with a concept that is now being copied in city after city. They created a place that combines the best of urban and suburban living.
Playa Vista was built on the grounds of what was Hugh’s Helicopter factory and testing ground. Moreover, it was part of the Ballona Wetlands area that was the habitat of numerous bird species. After a protracted series of legal and political negotiations, 600 acres of the land nearest the ocean was set apart as a permanent bird reserve.
The remaining strip between the Westchester bluffs and Jefferson Blvd from Lincoln to Sepulveda is now home to the biggest names in tech and is the core of Silicon Beach. It is also a community of over 5000 folks who were looking for that urban/suburban idea.
What Is So Special About Playa Vista?
Some describe living in Playa Vista as similar to living in a luxury resort. There is really no reason to ever leave the neighborhood, except to go to the amazing recreational, entertainment and cultural options in and around Southern California. The number one such destination, the beach, is an easy 1.5 mile bike ride away.
A striking aspect of the community is the mixed-use buildings. Like downtown Santa Monica, and now springing up all over Los Angeles and in many other major cities, almost every building has some combination of retail and restaurants on the street level, offices above that, and residential on the upper floors. This creates a community where a car is almost unnecessary since you can walk to 90% of everything you need.
Imagine this. There are 29 neighborhood parks and The CenterPointe Club, a 26,000 sq. ft. recreation and activity center, which includes 2 pools, a spa, fitness center, business center, meeting room and indoor and outdoor event spaces. There are also acres of preserved passive and active open space.
The Resort, the newest resident activity club, features resort-style amenities including a new two-level, state-of-the-art fitness center with indoor/outdoor spaces and a cool pool deck with an outdoor fireplace, cabanas, junior Olympic pool, adult pool and spa and kids’ pool and spa. Plus, the catering kitchen and chef-inspired demonstration kitchen are the perfect backdrops for many gourmet parties and event.
Both the CenterPointe Club and the Resort are open to all residents, both owners, and renters. And both spots are walkable from anywhere in the community.
With many more jobs than people in the area, many of the local residents work for the tech, entertainment, and support companies that have come to Playa Vista, thus making the work commute walkable, as well. With the entire area being only a mile from end to end, there is little reason to even get out your bicycle to get to work.
The Real Estate in Playa Vista
Such idyllic living conditions such as perfect weather, minutes to beach and LAX, amazing amenities, and freeway close to all the other treasures of SoCal unsurprisingly means residential real estate prices to match. All of the homes are nearly new with 2600 more still to be built. The homes, townhomes, condos, and apartments are uniformly amazing, modern, and equipped with every convenience.
When completed, Playa Vista will have 8800 residential properties, including 200 independent/assisted living homes.
If you are interested in considering the sale of your Playa Vista Home, or if you are looking to locate in the Playa Vista area, Whit Prouty knows this area very well, having been the realtor of record on numerous transactions on both the buy and sell side.
Or if you are interested in buying one of the new homes being offered, Whit can help you with that transaction. Call today to discuss options available to you in Playa Vista and surrounding neighborhoods.
Ask for Whit -310-962-6942