Google’s latest acquisition of a property in Playa Vista, California is a clear indication that this coastal town is a nexus for technology and entertainment. The Los Angeles Times explained that Google purchased 12 vacant lots of land zoned for nearly 900,000 square feet of commercial space. This space can house studios or offices providing more room than what Google now occupies in a handful of buildings in Los Angeles County.
The tech titan is also expected to lease the Hughes Hangar, a 319,000-square-foot building built in 1943 that has recently provided stages for television and movie production.
Even though Google didn’t disclose how much they paid for the land or detail of their plans, real estate experts valued the deal at nearly $120 million. Many are hoping the Mountain View, California company’s presence here will boost the tech economy in a self-sustaining way. Apart from the tech implications, there is also the potential for thousands of Google workers to move to Playa Vista, which will drive the development of new houses, shops and restaurants.
Playa Vista City Councilman Mike Bonin welcomed the news. He hopes the purchase will brand Playa Vista as the tech innovation capital of Los Angeles and give it a competitive edge over other areas.
Playa Vista first attracted companies because of its close proximity to the Westside, major freeways and the Los Angeles International Airport. Now people are getting attracted to the community due to its density of media companies, growing vibrancy, start-ups, ad agencies and established titans, like Google.
If Google develops the land, as it has been zoned, the Playa Vista space and the Hughes Hangar will be able to accommodate up to 6,000 workers. Google and other internet firms usually set aside about 200 square feet per employee.
Local entrepreneurs and investors say they are very excited about the possibilities that a stepped-up presence of Google could bring. They believe that more Google offices would mean more quality engineers. These engineers, they believe, may eventually launch their own ventures in Los Angeles and in turn attract more developers and investors. Paige Craig, an angel investor in Venice said that this self-perpetuating cycle would boost the tech economy and attract talented people to Los Angeles.
This deal also underscores the region’s growing influence as a breeding ground for new forms of digital entertainment, which is very important as the entertainment and technology sectors continue to converge.