Have you heard of Silicon Beach? No, it isn’t an offshoot of Silicon Valley. It is a phenomenon emerging in West Los Angeles, home of The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center, a mixed-use development with office, residential, hotel, retail, restaurant and entertainment offerings.
Silicon Beach has taken its name from Silicon Valley — both are notable for the number of creative business start-ups.
LA and the real Silicon Valley are start-up equals? Apparently. Startup Genome, a firm that researches business start-ups ranks Los Angeles as the third busiest start-up community in the world. Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv rank first and second. So, yes.
And that is inspiring The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center to change. The Center’s owner, Passco Companies, a privately held commercial real estate developer, owner and manager, has announced plans to reposition The Promenade as a comprehensive entertainment destination.
“The business and residential submarkets surrounding The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center have undergone a massive demographic transformation over the past five years, bringing in creative professionals involved in the entertainment, creative tech and gaming industries,” said Howard Wong, director of leasing at Passco.
In addition to the influx of creative start-up companies into West LA, the area has also seen an increase in on-campus student housing at local universities — Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount and Otis College of Art and Design have nearby campuses — and an increase in tourist and business travelers in nearby hotels.
Residential development has also grown in neighboring Playa Vista — as well as within the Howard Hughes Center itself, noted Wong.
“Our decision to reposition The Promenade … was a response to the increased demand for unique dining and entertainment options within this urban market,” continued Wong.
Repositioning is underway
As part of the repositioning effort, Passco recently added two national entertainment tenants to The Promenade: Dave & Buster’s and Buffalo Wild Wings. With space under construction now, both tenants plan to open in late 2013.
Moreover, existing tenant Cinemark acquired Rave Cinemas and will continue operating the theater at The Promenade. “The theater is one of the first to offer upscale, first-run movie viewing with modern dining and beverage services in a family-friendly environment,” Wong said. “As such, Cinemark continues to attract an increasing number of entertainment-seekers to the center.
“…We are actively seeking more entertainment/restaurant tenants such as upscale bowling, unique restaurants and brand experience stores among others.”