Developers Detail L.A.’s $250M Playa Vista Town Center
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
Developers of Runway, a mixed-use project in Playa Vista, Calif., continue to prepare for takeoff with the debut of architectural firm Johnson Fain’s design for the $250 million endeavor. As the first segment of the 111-acre Village at Playa Vista, Runway will lead the way for future development at the Los Angeles-area compound.
Lincoln Property Company Southern California, Phoenix Property Co. and Paragon Commercial Group are the developers of the Village, which marks the final phase of the sprawling master-planned Playa Vista community. The California Supreme Court gave the group the go-ahead for development of the Village in April, and now the vision for Runway has been unveiled for all to see.
Scott Johnson, design partner at Johnson Fain, led the design team. The end product is an outline for a series of small-scale structures encompassing a 200,000-square-foot retail center, 420 townhomes and apartments known as the Residences at Runway and three acres of open space. “Runway is designed to suit lifestyles and entertainment trends that we see ahead for the digital generation,” Johnson said. “What the design does is to merge contemporary architecture with a Main Street that is intimate, pedestrian-friendly and sociable.”
Additionally, Runway will feature 25,000 square feet of what the firm calls “creative” office space. Playa Vista is an area of Los Angeles that is fast becoming a hub for those in the technology, internet and entertainment industries, so office space designed to appeal to users in what locals refer to as “Silicon Beach” will draw attention.
The residential and retail portions of Runway will not go unnoticed either. The Los Angeles apartment vacancy rate will continue its downturn, dropping to an anticipated 3.4 percent by year’s end, according to a report by Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services. Additionally, the retail vacancy rate in the city’s Westside submarket is expected to tighten and decline to 4.4 percent.
Lincoln, Phoenix and Paragon are primed to capitalize on the growing demand; the development partners plan to break ground on Runway, which will occupy the former runway of billionaire Howard Hughes’ aerospace compound, in August.