The Fashion Industry is Helping to Fuel Growth of Los Angeles Creative Industries

fashion industry

The fashion industry may have sparked the birth of creative office in Downtown Los Angeles.  Nasty Gal, for example, an internet retailer of tween wear, took 50,000 in the Pacific Mutual building, a historic Downtown Los Angeles office building recently converted to creative office. The Fashion industry maintains a long history in Downtown that was dwindling but may not be rekindled on the creative side.

Surprisingly, PMI still continues to get demand from fashion  manufacturers for creative offices in Culver City, another Los Angeles outlet for the fashion design industry.

Many smaller consumer good companies today are more design, media, and marketing companies than they are manufacturers.  These companies design, prototype, brand and market their products from their creative offices in Los Angeles and outsource their manufacturing (overseas) and distribution.

Joel Kotin warns in his opinion article for the Orange County Register below (August 10, 2014) that Los Angeles is losing its dominance as a media center and is also thereby falling in its ranking of top world global cities.

However, Los Angeles may be growing as a design and marketing center for the consumer good industry because Los Angeles is rich in creative types who can design,create, market, brand, and sell.

 

Joel Kotkin: L.A. hanging on as a top global city – The Orange County Register.

What is Creative Office?

3525 Eastham, Culver City

3525 Eastham, Culver City

Creative office is defined broadly as non-traditional office. A “traditional office” has eight to nine foot acoustical dropped ceilings with two-by-four foot parabolic or prismatic fluorescent lighting, drywall walls, and carpeted floor with three per thousand square foot of enclosed offices.  Creative offices usually have higher ceilings that are open to the structural lids; with pendant lighting; floors with wood or polished concrete; and maybe some walls with brick, block, or concrete.  Broader definitions incorporate collaborative space plans and lifestyles associated with Millennials.

PMI’s Eastham space, a converted warehouse in Culver City, exhibits the fundamental most look for in a creative office: a high bow truss ceiling, pendant lights, polished concrete floors, and cement walls on the inside of the exterior perimeter walls.

It is difficult to accomplish a creative look with low acoustical ceilings and two-by-four fluorescent lights.  Larger tech companies are more inclined to try. One tech company used numerous flags hanging from acoustical ceilings to make their space look creative.  Others have tried to accomplish the same goal by painting their walls with bright colors.

The Google space below displays high ceilings, funky furniture, bright colors, recessed lighting, and concrete floors but  keeps the acoustical tiles:

Google-Office-New-York 1

In the picture below,Google attempt  to accomplish a creative feels with higher ceilings and the placement of the desks.

facebook officesGoogle attempts a creative feel with high ceilings and a wall mural but keeps the acoustical tiles.

google new york cafeteria

Creative Office Parks

The Googleplex in Silicon Valley

The Googleplex in Silicon Valley

The Creative office park is the scaling of creative offices into a campus setting to emulate the campus experience achieved by cutting edge silicon valley technology companies like Google or Facebook. 

Creative office started in Los Angeles as the conversion of industrial buildings into office space while maintaining the industrial architectural features of the original space.  These features included the high exposed original ceilings (usually sandblasted), brick or concrete walls, and polished cement floors.  Posts, beams, steel, pipe were left all exposed.   The space was first used by artist and art galleries, architects and designers, then entertainment companies, then advertising firms, and finally technology companies.  The term morphed to include exposing the structural elements of any building by removing drywall and exposing the structural ceilings.

For a while, innovation in this area came from entertainment firms concerned with the architectural aesthetics of the space and how it would represent their artistic image.  Now innovation is coming from the technology area to allow higher densities and cool workplaces for their younger more tech savvy employees.  At first, artists defined the category followed by the artists in the entertainment industry.  Now, technology firms are defining the category, not only as a style but as a way of working in a more collaborative, dense, and amenity rich environment. 

Creative office parks are grouping of creative office buildings that offer google-like outdoor collaboration space and amenities for the workers who work in the park.  These amenities may include gyms, volleyball courts, dog runs, vegetable gardens, bicycle storage and repair, cafes, and social areas that might be found on the roof of a W hotel.

Social Area at Olympic Media Campus, West Los Angeles

Social Area at Olympic Media Campus, West Los Angeles

Amphitheater and patio area at Google Venice

Amphitheater and patio area at Google Venice

Outdoor social area at Playa Jefferson, Playa Vista

Outdoor social area at Playa Jefferson, Playa Vista

Outdoor seating at Playa Jefferson Campus, Playa Vista

Outdoor seating at Playa Jefferson Campus, Playa Vista

More outdoor seating at Playa Jefferson Campus, Playa Vista

More outdoor seating at Playa Jefferson Campus, Playa Vista

Beach Volleyball Court at Lantana, Santa Monica

Beach Volleyball Court at Lantana, Santa Monica

Outdoor collaboration seating at the Reserve, Playa Vista

Outdoor collaboration seating at the Reserve, Playa Vista

You Need To Disperse a Variety of Private Spaces in An Open Office Environment

Work

A number of spontaneous activities occur during the workday that require the need for private spaces within an open floor plan. People need to take calls ,unexpectedly talk to a colleagues, engage in a heated conversations or conversation that should be kept private.

Although in some cases these conversations can motivate collaboration, in other cases, these conversations will cause disruptions to others.

It may be inconvenient to have to travel a distance to a conference room  for a short spontaneous need. Inconvenience encourages people to ignore etiquette and disrupt other workers.   We recommend telephone rooms and/or very small conference rooms dispersed in and  around the open work area so that these private areas are easy to get to and convenient.  In contrast, we would not recommend that these private areas be concentrated in just one part of the office.  Workers will be more likely to use the facilities to just take a short call or conduct a fast conversation if they are brainlessly in close proximity.

Open office plans give rise to a host of issues regarding noise, distractions, and privacy that needs to be addressed.  Knoll has provided a whitepaper on  establishing guidelines for appropriate open office behavior.  See below:

ules for Etiquette in the Open Office | Workplace Research | Resources | Knoll.

Changing Office Trends Hold Major Implications for Future Office Demand

Like many other parts of our economy, the office market is going through seismic shifts in demand usage.  Private offices are out, and open workspace is in.  Some of the causes for this shift are technological.

Twenty years ago, no one used email; instead they fielded or made about 70 to 100 phone calls a day.  Today, most people field or make around ten phone calls a day and send, respond, or read 100 emails.  Hence, the need for private space–either in offices or workstations–has radically decreased.

Digital storage has lessened the need for physical storage.  Cloud based computing allows one to work anywhere.  The result is fitting more people into less space and thereby reducing the demand for office space.  Companies are figuring out that they can reduce real estate costs and, at the same time, create a more contemporary environment.  Office owners must focus on making their space more productive to be more competitive.

The higher density in office space movement exhibits the following:

1.  Working in open environments with less walls and partitions.

2.  More shared collaborative spaces: conference rooms, meeting rooms, break rooms, bigger kitchens and informal meeting areas.  Some of these areas are also used for focused work or making phone calls for those who need private space at variable times throughout the day.

3.  Amenities and Break areas: coffee refreshment areas, ping pong table, and Foosball.

Below is an as built plan of the West Los Angeles 10951 Pico Boulevard Third Floor, excluding the mezzanine, which is roughly about 8,000 square feet.  The plan shows 20 private spaces and room for about 12 workers in the open area.

As Built 8000 sq ft

As Built 8,000 Square Feet

This next space study shows an extreme move to density with five enclosed areas, including a conference room and room for a 115 workers in open areas.

Max Density

Max Density

A more optimal plan for a software company would involve a max density of 10 people per 1000 square feet.  This would include more disbursed private spaces such as a small conference rooms and workrooms with computers and phones.  Some open area would be converted to informal meeting and recreational areas that would bring density down to 5 to 6 per 1000, but still allow temporary scaling of people if required.

For an example, click on the link below:

28041 – 2013 04-09 Conference Room Options

Creative space helps alleviate the impact of this density, as volume and natural light give the sense of greater space despite the density.

Volume Mitigates Density

Volume Mitigates Density

Read the full story on changing office trends from the CoStar Group’s website here.

Transit and Parking is Coming Near 10951 Pico Creative Offices at Sepulveda/Pico Expo Line, But Will Employees Walk?

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Photo courtesy of Curbed Los Angeles

New and exciting things are happening in the 10951 Pico neighborhood! The Expo line will connect the area around 10951 Pico with transit to Downtown and Santa Monica, as well as providing 1,795 new parking spaces.  It will also feature a 250 space free Caltran commuter lot.  The Expo Station will be less than a half mile from the 10951 Pico Creative Offices (at Veteran Avenue and Pico Boulevard), making the walk just under ten minutes.  Compared to other cities, where a ten minute walk is nothing, LA Westsiders consider this trek an inconvenience.  Even a short five-minute walk borders as unbearable.  Los Angelenos just don’t walk from parking or transit to work.

Even now, there is plentiful free parking along the Expo line that is a five-minute walk from the 10951 Pico Creative Offices.  However, some tenants do not recognize such parking as convenient.

In Beverly Hills for example, some office deals hinge on parking spaces next to the elevator.  It can get that competitive.  More transit and parking is coming, but the big question is if employees will get used to walking back and forth from the parking located 5-10 minutes away from their respective work locations.  As office densities continue to increase beyond five per 1000 square feet, tenants and employees alike will need find locations near parking and transit, and learn to walk longer to work.  A University of Michigan survey found that teenagers in 2010 were much less likely to drive than teenagers in 1983, so maybe times are changing.

The mixed-use project proposed at the Sepulveda/Pico site includes on-site bike and car sharing facilities, bicycle parking, and will even offer transit incentives and free or discounted Metro Passes to residents and employees by the developer.  Once this project is finished, time will tell if those enticing amenities and incentives will encourage more people to use transit to get to work.To learn more, read about the proposed parking in this article.

10951 Pico Creative Offices Home to New and Old Tech Startups

10951 Penthouse

10951 Pico Penthouse Space

The 10951 Pico building was the birthplace of one of YouTube’s most successful content providers, Machinima.  In 2006, Machinima was founded by Allen DeBevoise in a 150 square foot suite in the Penthouse.  By July 2012, they already had 191 million unique users who viewed an excess of 2.1 billion videos on their YouTube channel and website and occupied 30,000 square feet in Hollywood.

10951 Pico also serves as the corporate headquarters for Bebo, a social networking site that was at one time a contender with Myspace and Friendster.  Little Black Bag, a social e-commerce company backed by David Tisch and Mark Suster, recently moved into the ground floor suite.

IMG_1408

New Penthouse Cafe Kitchen

With it’s open and collaborative Penthouse space, and upgraded cafe style kitchen, 10951 Pico will continue to house creative offices to inspire the new tech startups joining the ranks, as well as continuing to go above and beyond to accommodate and maintain close ties to older tech startups.