The Next Big Submarket?
We've told you how Playa Vista and Downtown development are booming. Which area is next? We'll give you some hints.
Here's Cuningham Group Architecture principal Jonathan Watts showing how big he thinks the opportunity is in this mystery neighborhood. His firm moved a year-and-a-half ago from Marina del Ray into what used to be a Samy's Camera warehouse, punched out giant windows, and in their 12k SF space with 22-foot ceilings used vents instead of air conditioning because the latter is rarely needed in their neighborhood, and they can reduce power consumption 50%. They also created this conference room with 726 identical pieces, each with only two screws. And the land on which Jonathan stands is sacred: It's where the mansion in Gone with the Wind burns down at the end of the movie, and even where Hogan's Heroes was filmed.
Here's another clue: In these two buildings of 110k SF down the street, Beats by Dre is about to create its new HQ.
Next-door is this unassuming entrance to the set of Hell's Kitchen, the big FOX reality show with chef Gordon Ramsey.
And also on the quiet street is the set of the Showtime series, Californication.
Give up? it's the Hayden Tract of Culver City, eight miles from Hollywood, buried in the elbow of the 405 and 10 freeways. It's a newly re-emerging magnet for entertainment-oriented creatives.
A few minutes' walk is a growing stretch of hip restaurants and bars with names like City Tavern, Akasha, Rush Street, Public School, and Ford's Filling Station (after Harrison Ford's son). And more coming in like Blue Bottle Coffee from S.F.
And a well-known building and backlot, which used to be MGM's. The area was started 100 years ago by a guy named Harry Culver, and flourished at one time as the place where movies were made like Citizen Kane, the Wizard of Oz, and the original King Kong, and TV shows like Gunsmoke, Lassie, Andy Griffith, and Batman.
Now the train brings folks in from Pasadena, Downtown, Long Beach, and the Valley. In a couple years it will continue on to Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. Already the Expo Line's been discovered: This parking lot has 650 spaces, and while only a few were taken a year ago after the Culver City station opened, today they are jammed. But the five-and-a-half acres are slated to become a Lowe Enterprises development Cuningham is designing, consisting of 200k SF office, 150 apartments, 150 boutique hotel rooms, and 35k SF retail, with shovels going in near Washington and National in two years.
A few yards away, the Runyon Group is creating Platform, and Greystar is doing 115 units of housing called Access Culver City. Where Venice Boulevard intersects Washington, The Exchange will become a gathering place for the tech community. Maybe the biggest asset, fans say, is what's long been true: Culver City's just 20 minutes from the beach and 20 minutes from Downtown.
The 1924 Culver Hotel, once owned by John Wayne and lodging for the likes of Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, and Judy Garland, fell into decay but has now been restored.
Meanwhile, Cuningham's Jack Feichtner, who designed the warehouse, may wish we'd keep the area a secret.