The Real Deal Los Angeles

Forget craft breweries — Arts District will now have a spot for competitive gaming

WePlay is building a 35k sf complex made out of shipping containers
August 15, 2018 05:00PM

WePlay co-founder Rich Williams and a rendering of WePlay (Credit: WePlay)

Long gone are the days when video gamers were associated with couch potatoes.

WePlay, a Venice-based marketing firm that is not related to WeWork, is building a membership-based hub for video games and e-sports in the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles, Downtown News reported.

The firm is planning to use shipping containers to transform the 35,470-square-foot industrial site at 667 Santa Fe Avenue. Each container will hold gaming equipment and cameras.

In addition to competitive gaming, WePlay Live will host broadcasts, events and special events. It will operate on a membership model, and feature a cafe and bar.

Renderings portray a one-story warehouse space decorated in splashy graffiti murals. A neon sign reading “WePlay” would hang above the doors.

The company plans to open the space by spring 2019.

The industrial property traded for $9.4 million in 2015, property records show.

WePlay, co-founded by Rich Williams, a video game marketing veteran, specializes in staging corporate events for companies. The firm chose the Arts District over the Westside because of the neighborhood’s burgeoning tech and media presence, plus its more affordable real estate, Williams told DN.

Spotify and Warner Music are among some of the music companies settling in the Arts District. Most recently, online coupon firm Honey announced plans to lease the entire Fourth & Traction redevelopment project at the site of a former Coca-Cola factory. [DN] – Natalie Hoberman