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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Santa Monica’s second act

With new office leases from high-tech heavyweights and hip startups, the original “Silicon Beach” is once again soaking up the sun

The Santa Monica pier. The beachfront community has a casual office market culture that appeals to tech startups and media companies.

From the January issue: Santa Monica is the third point of a golden triangle that also encompasses the trendy office markets of Hollywood and Playa Vista. But while the latter two neighborhoods have seen a particularly pronounced surge in popularity in recent years, market pros say that Santa Monica — once the darling of the first-generation tech industry — is finally getting its mojo back.

After a tough spell in the several years following the Great Recession — Yahoo!, for instance, migrated from Santa Monica to Playa Vista in 2015 — some startups are beating a path to Santa Monica. “All of a sudden, there’s a pretty good flow of new players,” said Carl Muhlstein, JLL’s regional director.

Aside from the obvious appeal of holding business lunches with an ocean view and team-building activities at the beach, factors such as improved public transportation, entertainment opportunities and new and renovated office space have boosted the area’s leasing activity, with a 30-percent year-over-year increase in leasing volume for Class A properties in 2016. [More]