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Shovels Ready; the Deal Sheet

Sure, it's always great to see cranes in the sky, but don't forget old-fashioned hand tools as a sign of renewed construction activity. Take the following two projects that broke ground in the LA area.

IMAX and Lincoln Property launched construction on a 66k SF, state-of-the-art creative office building in Playa Vista, corner of Westlawn Avenue and Millennium Drive (next to the Spruce Goose hangar). Turning the first shovels of dirt are IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti (third and fourth from left) and from developer Lincoln, EVP David Binswanger and VP Rob Kane at right. IMAX's 120 employees in Santa Monica will move into their new home in first-half 2015.

Designed by Gensler, IMAX's new West Coast facility will feature an interior amphitheater that's intended to foster collaboration, as well as two large screening rooms with a pre-function area. Speaking of supersized screens, lots of people want the big picture on Playa Vista, judging from the record 500-person turnout at Bisnow's Rise of Playa Vista event last month, where panelist David Binswanger discussed Lincoln's Runway lifestyle project.

Not to be outdone (and not just 'cause their shovels sport festive ribbons), officials from Meta Housing and the City of Compton broke ground for Metro @ Compton, a 75-unit affordable seniors community. Dignitaries getting down and dirty included Meta's new prez Kasey Burke (far left) and Compton Mayor Aja Brown (third from left). The TOD community was designed to Green Point rating standards, incorporating photovoltaics and a gray water system for landscape irrigation. The City of Compton committed more than $4M to the $20M project, with an additional $2.5M coming from LA County.