Skip to: [ search ] [ menus ] [ content ] Select style [ Aqua ] [ Citrus ] [ Fire ] [ Orange ] [ show/hide more content ]

Silicon Beach

“Tech people tend to be fairly nonlinear.” – Steve Hansen, president of TrueCar

That explains it for me. I’m pretty nonlinear, myself! :-) (You may have noticed…. :-) )

One of my favorite company names from the past was Silicon Beach Software, but that was San Diego! (Note added October 22, 2011: For those of you who didn’t LIKE chemistry – SAND is mostly silicon dioxide! :-) )

Technology and entertainment companies “that long ago mastered the knack of making money without dressing up” are spending big on real estate in Santa Monica and Venice. As a T-shirt-and-blue-jeans-kinds guy, I can understand the draw. According to real estate broker Craig Kish of Jones Lang LaSalle, the office vacancy rate in downtown Santa Monica is 4%, a fraction of the average for Los Angeles County. (The L.A. Times online has a photogallery entitled, “A hotbed of hipness,” which, to my nonlinear mind, merely brings back memories of The Tragically Hip.)

The relaxed beach scene and Santa Monica’s shopping options and restaurants (tech people like good food and often don’t have time to cook) attracts creative types and computer types. The L.A Times quotes:

“These folks want to live a certain lifestyle,” said broker Matthew Brainard of real estate firm Studley. “They work crazy hours, so they might want to surf in the morning, ride a bike to work and enjoy everything they can then and there.”

“A lot of us in tech call it Silicon Beach,” said Josh Berman, chief executive of BeachMint, an operator of websites for products designed by celebrities. “There are a lot of great companies here. You feel a sense of community.”

The 1920s-vintage Clock Tower, a 12-story Art Deco building rents for as much as $6 per square foot/month and has tenants like LivingSocial,, and Famiglia Di Vendetta, a post-production company. Large complexes of buildings like the Water Garden and Yahoo Center (formerly Colorado Place) that were created in the 1980s and 1990s to house accounts, law firms, and the like are now filled with tech and showbusiness companies!

Google has taken over the Binoculars Building in nearby Venice that was built in 1991 for an advertising agency! There are also less costly real estate markets nearby, including Playa Vista, El Segundo, West Los Angeles, and Culver City.

“I can’t figure out why companies don’t go to Culver City,” broker Kish said. “It must be the allure of being close to the beach.”

Duh! Somebody please TALK to this guy! :-) Not only are there BEACHES there, but the Pacific Ocean is actually WARM there! :-) Tech people seem to like beaches and warm water, in my experience….

By some estimates, the tech industry in Southern California is the second-largest in the country, but it still trails far behind Silicon Valley and other parts of the Bay Area.

“Over the last 18 to 24 months we have seen a dramatic surge in company formation and in the overall entrepreneurial ecosystem here in L.A.,” Redmond said. “I think Santa Monica will be at the heart and it will extend into Culver City and Venice.”

-Bill at

Cheshire Cat Photo™ – “Your Guide to California’s Wonderland™”

You can view higher-resolution photos at the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™, where you can also order prints and gifts decorated with the photos of your choice from the gallery. The Cheshire Cat Photo Store on Zazzle® contains a wide variety of apparel and gifts decorated with our images of California. All locations are accessible from hereBe a “Facebook Fan” of Cheshire Cat Photo here! If you don’t see what you want or would be on our email list for updates, send us an email at

No Comments to “Silicon Beach”

  (RSS feed for these comments)

You must be logged in to post a comment.

InspectorWordpress has prevented 52153 attacks.
Get Adobe Flash player