Liminal Space Gets Creative in LAX Submarket

Local developer Paul Solomon recently completed the first creative office building in Los Angeles' LAX area.

By Gail Kalinoski

6171 Century, Los Angeles
6171 Century, Los Angeles

Los Angeles—More than a decade ago, Paul Solomon helped bring residential development to the Los Angeles Arts District with two well-received loft projects. Now he has turned his sights on another section of Los Angeles—the LAX submarket, where his firm Liminal Space just redeveloped a 1970’s-era mostly vacant, traditional office building into 88,000 square feet of creative space.

The project, 6171 Century, is a first for the submarket and also a first for Solomon. While he has developed some creative offices from warehouse spaces, this is the first time he has revitalized an older traditional office building.

“Like the downtown Los Angeles Arts District over 10 years ago where I led development with Toy Factory Lofts and Biscuit Company Lofts, the west end of Century Boulevard was hiding in plain sight, ripe for redevelopment,” Solomon said in a prepared statement. “The vision at 6171 was to create a great environment where employers and employees are inspired by their space and want to come to work every day.”

The building, located a short walk from Los Angeles International Airport, has been well received, he said. JLL’s Jason Fine and Kristen Bowman have already signed nearly 30,000 square feet in leases – Team Rubicon (10,000 square feet), Stella Travel Services (9,200 square feet), M Theory (6,500 square feet), Matrix Aviation (2,600 square feet) and Rinaldi’s Deli, which will operate a sandwich shop on the ground level, took 1,400 square feet. There is also a data center with 22,000 square feet in the basement that will offer low-cost, high-quality bandwidth and electrical grid redundancy to the tenants.

Solomon said there is still availability for users looking for space ranging from 3,800 to 18,000 square feet. He said rents at 6171 Century are the lowest on the west side at under $3 per square foot.

“The response has been really positive,” Solomon told Commercial Property Executive. “People like the architecture. The building has great bones with 13-foot floor to ceiling heights.”

He said they have also been attracted to the ample parking, upgraded lobby, common areas and bathrooms and amenities like bicycle storage and private showers. In addition to Rinaldi’s, already known for its shops in El Segundo, Calif., and Manhattan Beach, Calif., Solomon said Bar None will also open later this year. The bar and Rinaldi’s will share the building’s outdoor courtyard space, he said.

“The response to the renovations has been amazing,” Fine said in a prepared statement. “The attention to detail and design elements at 6171 are totally unique to anything I have seen. 6171 has great infrastructure and amenities in one of the most overlooked locations in the city. The LAX office market is completely transforming and it’s exciting to be part of that change.”

Asked why the time was right to focus on the LAX submarket, Solomon pointed to the light rail that is coming to the neighborhood and the nearly $5 billion in improvements being made to the airport, including a People Mover that will connect from the light rail station to LAX. Other transit-oriented improvements will include an intermodal transport facility that will have car rental agencies and possibly other retail uses.

“The whole neighborhood is really being upgraded,” he said. “There is energy of being part of a modernizing neighborhood, a neighborhood that’s becoming more dynamic.”

Comparing it to his work in downtown Los Angeles, Solomon said he is attracted to the community-building aspect of redevelopment. He said he would look for more deals in the LAX submarket, including office, retail and hotel projects.

Image courtesy of JLL