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Why Tech Tenants Like Google Are Driving Silicon Beach

Los Angeles

Silicon Beach is one of the hottest markets in the country, in part because landlords are paying attention to what tech tenants want. Tomorrow some of the biggest names in the business will offer more insight at The Water Garden in Santa Monica at Bisnow's Silicon Beach: The Rise of the Tech Corridor, starting at 8am.

This morning we spoke to panelist and CBRE managing director Pat McRoskey, who's in charge of leasing at the Water Garden. He says transformative changes are underway at our venue, where an interior modernization was launched on Monday. A second phase focused on the exterior, including a reimagining of the lake, an expansive sustainable landscape and enhanced water conservation, begins this April. Pat tells us they're proactively responding to what tenants in the tech/media market need regarding the environment in which they want to work.

For example, they're changing the property’s institutional feel by removing some of the stone and marble as well as the outdated brass, to create a more inspiring and engaging experience—think comfy furniture, area rugs, and art plus wireless Internet throughout the site. Pat says there'll be amazing indoor and outdoor spaces where tenants' employees will feel comfortable taking their laptops or holding meetings, and still be in the project. Both phases will be completed by spring 2016.

We also chatted with The Ratkovich Co development manager Milan Ratkovich, also a panelist, who brought us up to date on the 28-acre Hercules Campus in Playa Vista—the company's renovation of 11 nationally registered historic buildings that were once home to Howard Hughes' aviation works. Milan tells us the East and South campuses are 85% leased to tenants Google, Konami and 72andSunny, with just 20k SF remaining. We called the project one of LA's Top 5 tech offices, and that was before Google made its $120M move.

Later this year, planning will begin for the reno of the famed Spruce Goose hangar. It's basketball season, so when he's not occupied with Hercules efforts, Milan is shuttling the kids back and forth to their games. Our Silicon Beach: The Rise of the Tech Corridor event starts at 8am at the Water Garden, 1620 26th St in Santa Monica. It's not too late to sign up here.