Business & Economy

Silicon Beach: 80 percent of office space in Playa Vista occupied by tech firms

One of the many construction sites in Playa Vista, where tech companies now occupy 80 percent of office space, according to CBRE.
One of the many construction sites in Playa Vista, where tech companies now occupy 80 percent of office space, according to CBRE.
Ben Bergman/KPCC

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We hear all the time about the growing number of tech companies in Los Angeles, and the allure of the westside's "Silicon Beach."

Now, a report from the commercial real estate firm CBRE offers hard numbers on the size of L.A.'s tech industry.

Of the 684 tech firms in Los Angeles, 86 percent are located in West L.A., according to CBRE's data. 

The report also shows that while tech companies occupy just 4.2 percent of office space in Greater Los Angeles, that number rises to 12 percent in West Los Angeles. And, in Playa Vista, which is just south of Santa Monica, a whopping 80 percent of the community's commercial space is now occupied by tech companies.

“As competition for space in the hottest projects and areas began to intensify, asking lease rates surged and large blocks of space became increasingly rare, Playa Vista became the logical next step for large occupiers," Blake Mirkin, executive vice president of CBRE, said in a written statement. "It’s just a few miles from Santa Monica, situated on the coast and still laden with opportunity.”

Consumer electronics giant Belkin International, Inc. became one of the first tech companies to move its headquarters to Playa Vista five years ago. Previously, it had offices in Compton and Hollywood.

Belkin spokeswoman Leah Polk says the company moved, in part, because there was plenty of space to grow in this once industrial area that was home to Hughes Aviation.

“There’s a lot of new construction here, so you can configure things the way you need to make them," she said.

That new construction is on full display throughout the community. In other parts of Playa Vista, it's business as usual, as techies peck away at laptops in the coastal breeze. Standing at a popular lunch spot, Polk pointed out the construction sites where some of the biggest names in tech are moving their operations.

At the beginning of the year,  Yahoo Inc. announced that it was moving its Santa Monica operations to Playa Vista, where it signed a lease for 130,000 square feet of office space.

Late last year, Google bought 12 acres of land next to the airplane hanger where billionaire aviator Howard Hughes built the massive "Spruce Goose."