Los Angeles’ content and tech scene is booming. Always the entertainment capital of the world, since 2011 some of the biggest names in tech have established themselves in LA, and the Westside has rapidly transformed and rebranded itself into one of the most exciting creative ecosystems in the nation. “Silicon Beach” – the catch-all phrase used to encompass the booming tech and content hubs in West Los Angeles, including Santa Monica, Venice, and Playa Vista–shows no signs of slowing down. The marriage of content and tech makes West LA an especially important hub in the digital revolution. Today, the area accommodates headquarters and satellite offices of over 500 tech companies and start-ups. The reputation of Silicon Beach has spread far and wide, and everyone in the commercial real estate industry is looking to satisfy the needs of the growing Los Angeles tenant base.
Enter EQ Office, a commercial real estate investment company that’s been making waves across the nation for over 40 years. At the end of 2016, EQ Office–then known as Equity Office–purchased the 1.4-million-square-foot Howard Hughes Center in Playa Vista, seeking to transform the campus into a tech and creative center for tenants of all sizes called Playa District. EQ envisioned the space as a natural extension of Silicon Beach, with Playa District just a mile away from the heart of Playa Vista. EQ has reimagined what was previously a traditional, 6-building complex into a bustling social campus equipped with the best amenities in Southern California.
Since 2016, the team has welcomed 400,000 square feet of new, renewing and expanding tenants as they rebrand and renovate the campus. To achieve that success EQ Office has focused its attention on the tenants’ relationship to their environment, claiming, “While other real estate owners talk about square footage and floor plans, we focus on the experience–how space feels, activates, and performs.”
Moreover, EQ isn’t alone in the process. To best integrate the modern idea of “shared workplaces” into Playa District, EQ Office teamed up with Industrious, one of the leading names in communal office spaces, to offer a solution for start-ups looking to grow their business, all while offering community-oriented spaces to aid in business networking and collaboration. These shared workplaces exist alongside established office spaces with the goal of creating a culture of diversity, in which both well-established companies and young start-ups can interact. The built-out and shorter-term nature of the Industrious space is a valuable amenity to rapidly-growing companies which may need desks for employees as quickly as they can hire!
When walking through Playa District, one senses the campus community with spacious outdoor patios, sports courts, gaming areas equipped with ping-pong and pool tables, and Wi-Fi enabled harmonious gathering spaces featuring designer furniture and hammocks, all working in service of Playa District’s vision for creating a social lifestyle. The campus hosts a weekly Farmer’s Market every Thursday, where crowds of tenants gather to browse the produce, local artisanal wares or grab a sushirito. Moreover, the remodeled food truck zone provides tenants with a rotating assortment of hidden California culinary gems. More than one tenant has a standing reservation on the shared barbecues, where they encourage collaboration and team-building over grilled meats and cold beer.
Playa District also curates weekly events to engage tenants with the community, ensuring that work is never mundane. On any given day, workers might find themselves taking a yoga class at one of the onsite indoor or outdoor fitness facilities, enjoying a ping-pong tournament, or sitting in on a lecture from a new author. What has been often labeled “the modern workplace” has been consistently characterized by a constant spirit of engagement between work and lifestyle, and Playa District is on the cutting edge of these new trends.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt when the design of the space is itself maximally engaging. Playing a vital hand in developing Playa District’s campus atmosphere is Rios Clementi Hale Studios, an award-winning architecture and design firm specializing in enhancing environments. Working with EQ Office to envision the project as a single, unified campus, RCH Studios designed what they called the “Agile Campus.” The outdoor spaces, the lobbies, and the first floor office spaces are designed to follow a similar general aesthetic, generating a sense of unity among the disparate locations. RCH describes the design of the Playa District campus as a “continuous zone of synergistic and productive forces,” working to bind the space into a communal, unified environment.
If all this doesn’t appeal to the prospective tenant, the location surely will. Playa District puts its tenants at the heart of Los Angeles’ tech scene, encouraging interaction with Silicon Beach’s most obvious frontrunners. The campus is also positioned with convenient access to both the 405 Freeway and LAX. In fact, the 405 Freeway is essentially attached to the exit route of the campus, making Los Angeles that much easier to traverse.
All in all, Playa District has everything a prospective tenant would want when choosing to find a home in Los Angeles’ rich tech scene. The beautiful, amenity-rich California campus lifestyle offers a comfortable and creative environment for emerging talent to perform at their highest capacities. In partnership with Industrious, EQ Office has developed a community with something to offer everyone, from the largest firms in the world to the small start-up in search of an affordable, flexible space to get started. Playa District’s tenants will be at the center of the action, working in close proximity with some of the largest names in the industry, and making a mark on what will become one of the foremost tech capitals in the nation. As the world continues to watch Los Angeles’ growing position in the digital revolution, Playa District is the perfect ecosystem for LA’s tech and creative communities.
For more information, visit playadistrictla.com.
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