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.

Culver City Evolves from Quiet Community to Urban Area; Gains a ‘Media for the Web’ Cluster

Maker Studios, a company that produces media content for the web, just signed a 50,000 square foot lease at 3562 Eastham Drive in Culver City.  Maker Studios joins other recent media-for-the web content companies in the Hayden Tract.  Several companies include Four Wall Studios, Mahalo, and Popsugar.  The cluster of these firms gives rise to a small community that could encourage other firms in this emerging industry to also seek office space in Culver City.

The success of these firms would also help create a new source of demand for Culver City creative space.  These media-for-the web firms join other creative office companies in Culver City that include digital advertising, entertainment, old media, and software firms.  A recent article from the Los Angeles Times discusses the success of Culver City and its challenges.  The addition of 1100 parking spaces at the Washington and La Cienega Expo stations helped convince these firms to locate in Culver City.  As some tech companies scale to 10 employees per 1000 square feet, the Expo line may provide one of the few ways for firms to help provide an alternative to parking to accommodate such density.

Culver City has transformed into one of main areas on the Westside that many tech and media tenants have been drawn to for creative office space.  In the second quarter of 2012, Culver City  had a net absorption of 16,000 square feet, with the asking rates for Class A and Class B space remaining constant from the first and second quarters of 2012.

Culver City Moves Aggressively to Attract Creative Office Firms with Innovative Redevelopment

Culver City is doing many things to make the city attractive to new businesses that would occupy creative offices.  The city is working with the Hayden Tract Property Owners Association to create 120 new parking spaces on the rail spur in the Hayden Tract.  These parking spaces will be just west of Stellar between Eastham and Hayden Avenue.  Recently, the city boldly moved at the end of January to pass three redevelopment properties that could benefit creative office tenants in the Hayden Tract.  For example,  Culver City committed to spend $5 million dollars to purchase 180 parking rights for public use in a new parking garage.  This garage is slated to be built on Higuera and Hayden by Hackman Properties. This garage will supplement a new 500 car garage at La Cienega and Jefferson recently completed by Cal Tran in conjunction with the opening of the Expo light rail later this year.  In addition, new street parking along National Boulevard between Washington and Jefferson has been added.  The Syd Krononthal Park at Eastham and National has received a new signal and a cross walk leading to it.  Not only will Culver City have an elevated Expo light rail station at La Cienega and Jefferson, but it will also have a similar station at Washington and Venice.  A new bike line and walking path will span the entire length of the light rail line.

Culver City is expected to build a pedestrian plaza and make landscape improvements around the station.  A temporary 600 car parking lot will be provided on the city’s land near the station as well.  The City also approved in late January an agreement with Lowe Development to sell this land parcel next to the Culver City light rail station so Lowe can build a development.  This future development area will have a mix of housing, office, retail and restaurant use.  These developments will be surrounding a large central open space amenity that will connect seamlessly with the new station.  In addition, the development will include 1,500 parking spaces, some of which will be for monthly rental to Hayden Tract owners and companies.

Close by, at Culver and Washington (9300 Washington), Culver City at the end of January committed to sell Hudson Realty and Combined Properties’ land to build a mixed use project. The proposed project includes ground-level retail, a four-story office building, and a grand stairway that leads pedestrians up to a restaurant pavilion.  There will also be a landscaped elevated plaza perched above the existing Town Square. The City in late January committed to sell land to build a new state of the art jazz club that will be operated by the Jazz Bakery.

The City has aggressively been courting new creative companies to locate in Culver City.  Unlike other Westside cities in Los Angeles, Culver City has displayed the ability to meet with companies and offer expedited permitting for their improvement.

Creative office  tenants appreciate Culver City for it’s rich urban experience. Culver City attracts young, knowledgeable workers due to the mix of chic restaurants, vibrant bar scene, new art district, the close proximity to affordable apartments, and easy access to Santa Monica, Hollywood, and Downtown Los Angeles.  Playa Vista, a competitve location for creative companies, lacks this rich urban experience.  In 2000, Culver City became a magnet for entertainment and internet companies fleeing the high rents of Santa Monica.  Culver City had a plentiful supply of architecturally attractive industrial buildings preferred by the creative types.  At the current time, however, Culver City is addressing the insufficient parking problem that many of these buildings have.

Culver City has a rich history of bold moves in redevelopment. It invested heavily in infrastructure and parking in its downtown district.  Culver City went so far as to build and own a multiplex theatre and Trader Joe’s in early 2000.  The current new developments come as no surprise from a city that is always in the forefront of innovation. Culver City has done an amazing job creating and executing the many improvements that will make it one of the prime locations to live, work, and play.