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How LA's Top Developers Attract Tenants Like Yahoo and Facebook

It takes  something

different to attract tech tenants these days—not the old 52-story tower. The creative office development boom in LA reflects a revolution in the industry and we've gathered some of city's biggest players in creative space for Bisnow's The Office Revolution: The Tech, Culture and Capital Behind the Creative Workplace, May 12, at i|o at Playa Vista, 12130 Millenium Dr, starting at 8am.

Among our all-star panelists is Tishman Speyer senior managing director John Miller (snapped at Mammoth with son Tim, a broker with JLL in Downtown LA), who tells us the firm is building 200k SF of creative space from the ground up in its second phase at its Collective at Playa Vista—five buildings, about 40k SF each. Yahoo recently took 130k SF, and with the remaining two buildings under LOI, he expects the project will be fully leased before completion this summer.

In addition to Tishman's ground-up construction in Playa, John says the company is looking to retrofit existing buildings in the area for creative use. If you're hitting the creative definition right on, you're building great outside spaces including large, functional areas where people can work collaboratively, he says. In many creative buildings, the second floor has openings that look down onto the first floor to provide visual connectivity, which gives people more of an opportunity to interact.

The 325k SF first phase, completed in 2010, helped kick off some of the creative interest in Playa Vista with leases such as Facebook, ICANN and the USC Institute for Creative Technologies. John says the company built 8k SF private parks on the second level between each of the buildings, and found that tenants leased space on that floor so they could control those areas for their exclusive use.

The company is getting ready to launch construction on the third phase: a two-building, 425k SF project. It'll boast large floor plates, rooftop deck space and great views.

Another panelist will be PMI Properties partner Jeff Palmer. In the mid-1990s, Jeff helped pioneer creative offices in LA with projects like the redevelopment of Penn Station in Santa Monica, a converted warehouse, as well as "soft creative conversions" of traditional office buildings. Jeff's main focus right now: transferring the technology to the residential side. A case in point is Marina Studios, PMI's existing 65k SF creative office building at 4223 Glencoe in Marina del Rey.

The company is in a JV with a residential developer that plans to build an apartment building on Marina Studios' surface parking lot (shown above). People will be able to go from live to live/work to all work. Jeff's motivation was to increase his parking. In the creative office business, developers have pioneered densification, finding ways to make that tenable through higher ceilings and the correct mix of private, collaborative and open space.

Meanwhile, Jeff tells us social gaming network SGN Games (Cookie Jam, Book of Life: Sugar Smash, Panda Pop, Panda Jam) just leased over 17k SF at PMI's 3525 Eastham project in Culver City. The company develops and publishes games on Facebook, for iOS and Android, with over 500 million games installed to date, making it one of the largest cross-platform gaming companies in the world.

Our event venue will show off Clarion Partners' creative makeover at i|o at Playa Vista, the former Latitude 34 complex that stood vacant five years after opening. SVP Khalid Rashid (right, with the artist Rone) tells us the project was substantially completed as of April 1. The six-story, 301k SF complex was broken apart and reconfigured, making it attractive to creative office users. Three leases totaling 128k SF were signed before the reno was finished. The first tenant, Fullscreen, moved into about 60k SF on March 30. Another tenant, WPP, should be moving into its 49k SF space on June 1.

The Gensler-led redo brought down the size of the complex's façade in line with surrounding projects, and made a seamless connection between interior space and private exterior space. Highlights included puncturing the exterior walls to create individual front doors, adding exterior stairs, and breaking through the upper-level façade to create pop-up balconies. Join us on May 12 for The Office Evolutionstarting at 8am at I|o at Playa Vista. Sign up here.