Since the arrival of Google in Venice last year, westside beach communities like Santa Monica, Playa Vista and others have seen an influx of tech companies, startups, investors and software businesses of all kinds burst into the neighborhood now dubbed "Silicon Beach."
As they scramble to get a piece of what many think will be the next big boomtown, companies are snatching up all the commercial real estate they can find. But this is L.A. and appearances mean everything.
LA Weekly explains what a handful of companies' choices in office buildings -- essentially their outward projection to the world -- says about their style in general.9. Launchpad LA: Ivy Moneybags
If you're a startup and you get in through the doors of Launchpad LA, half of your trek to becoming a new technology entrepreneur has been accomplished. Launchpad is an accelerator -- that's what folks used to call an investor. But today in Silicon Beach, the seed money business looks very different than it did 30 years ago in Northern California. Launchpad's initial deals usually include something like a $50,000 investment for a startup and a free loft space in which to work in their building on 2nd street in Santa Monica.
Needless to say, the building is buzzing with creative types and deal makers. Hidden from the street (the office is the taller, two story portion in the back with its windows peeping out in the image above), the interior of Launchpad LA features lounge-y roof decks, ocean views, and pristine and spacious common areas with really nice furniture.8. Silver Pictures at the Venice Post Office: The Old Guard
Joel Silver, movie producer and CEO of Silver Pictures, is currently renovating the historic former Post Office in Venice's heart at the turnaround just east of the arches on Pacific avenue. The building will soon house Silver Picture's offices, and they're spending a good load of cash to update the 73-year-old building building to meet new technology requirements.
But Silver has emphatically promised to keep the historic integrity of the building intact. He and his design team seem intently serious about all aspects of the renovation, down to the the cleaning and restoration work being done on Edward Biberman's WPA "Story of Venice" mural located there. Social Media used to mean going to see a movie in a theater. Silver Pictures remembers that, and is simultaneously positioning itself to do business next door to the newbies.7. Grub With Us: Work, Live, Eat
In the hip neighborhood just south of Venice boulevard, along Abbot Kinney Boulevard, one finds warehouses, motorcycle shops, French cafes and bungalows nuzzling together on a zig zag street pattern that keeps itself a little more isolated than other parts of Silicon Beach. Residing at the center of this all is a newish addition to the neighborhood, the lofts at Victoria Avenue, which house the dating-meets-restaurant-hopping social media site GrubWithUs.com.
The blocky and bright-colored live work lofts are just blocks from the beach, and they border the much-sleepier Marina del Rey. The location points to GrubWithUs's distinguished tastes and drive for fun, but the quiet residential block and homey feel hint that they might just want to find someone nice and settle down.
Up next: TheWrap.com