Article by T.L. Stanley Google, Snapchat, Hulu, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine’s Beats Electronics, business incubators like Amplify and hundreds of emerging technology firms now populate the area. They’re shoulder to shoulder with an eclectic mix of youth hostels, pot dispensaries, bong shops, hot new restaurants and fashion-forward boutiques.
Microsoft moved in about six months ago, and Intel is currently looking for local digs. Facebook outgrew its first office, moving slightly inland to Playa Vista, near YouTube, TMZ and ad agency 72andSunny. Prolific movie producer Joel Silver is renovating the Art Deco 1930s-era Venice Post Office for his production house, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is considering opening an office on artsy Abbot Kinney Boulevard, which GQ magazine has dubbed the “Coolest block in America.”
Silicon Beach has become so popular, in fact, that prices have skyrocketed, much more so than in L.A.’s larger real estate market. And with a limited amount of space—buildings don’t reach over 35 feet, and there are no high-rises—anyone not already planted there may have a tough time finding an affordable roof and four walls. “The demand is high and the supply is nil,” says David Thind, a local Coldwell Banker real estate broker. “Sales prices are over $1,000 a foot. Some approaching $1,500 a foot. That’s unheard of.” Thind gets more than a dozen calls a day from tech, media, advertising and other businesses hoping to put their feet in the sand where, he notes desirable lots can cost “$2 million for a teardown.”