Phase 2 ‘Runway’ Coming Soon to Playa Vista – TMZ, YouTube, Facebook, TOM’s Shoes, Fox are Calling Playa Vista Home

The City within the City is Growing

The $260-million project, called Runway at Playa Vista, located on the original runway of Mr. Howard Hughes, is intended to be the commercial and social heart of the planned community that has been under construction for more than a decade on land once controlled by aviation mogul Howard Hughes south of Marina del Rey.

Playa Vista already has more than 3,200 residences and 2 million square feet of offices but lacks a commercial and social town center, said Patti Sinclair, co-president of Playa Capital, the master developer of Playa Vista.

Runway will be next to Jefferson Boulevard and house a premium grocery store, 10-screen movie theater, “chef-driven” restaurants and shops. Apartments and office spaces will rise above ground-floor retail shops and top out at four stories.

The complex — about the size of four city blocks — should be mostly completed in about two years, but it is intended to look as if it evolved more slowly over time. Building materials similar to those used on well-known Los Angeles shopping streets such as Abbot Kinney Boulevard and Melrose Avenue will be incorporated, and full-grown native California trees will be brought in to add a sense of permanence.

Green Score

Canopies will mark entry points, and small gathering areas will be set up around fountains and fire pits. Included in the design by Los Angeles architecture firm Johnson Fain is a 1,400-car garage accessible from Jefferson. There also will be underground parking for the 220 apartments in the first phase of Runway.

Developing Runway is Lincoln Property Co., which has erected office buildings at Playa Vista and is buying the 14-acre Runway site from Playa Capital. The center is intended to serve residents as well as a burgeoning creative office district nearby.

Among the existing and expected office tenants in the neighborhood are broadcaster TMZ, Facebook, Toms shoes, YouTube, Fox Interactive Media and ad agency Deutsch.

The overall 111-acre Phase 2 will include additional housing, offices and other features; construction will be done or underway in about four years, Sinclair said. Playa Vista will then cover 460 acres, less than half the original proposed size because of environmentalists’ dogged opposition.

More than three decades ago, property owner Summa Corp. and its affiliates (all related to the estate of Hughes, the aviator, engineer and film producer) envisioned an immense city within a city on 1,087 acres, with high-rise office buildings, thousands of residences, roadways through the wetlands, a golf course and a regional shopping center.

  • The first residents arrived in 2002 amid concerns about what would become of the area’s coastal wetlands. The next year, the state approved $140 million to buy nearly 200 acres of the property west of Lincoln Boulevard to be restored and preserved as the Ballona Wetlands. Playa Vista agreed to donate or give up its right to develop an additional 415 acres.
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