Playa Vista, Los Angeles

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Playa Vista
Neighborhood of Los Angeles
Playa Vista from the south, with Bluff Creek in foreground
Playa Vista from the south, with Bluff Creek in foreground
Playa Vista neighborhood as mapped by the Los Angeles Times
Playa Vista neighborhood as mapped by the Los Angeles Times
Playa Vista is located in Western Los Angeles
Playa Vista
Playa Vista
Location within Western Los Angeles
Coordinates: 33°58′22″N 118°25′36″W / 33.97278°N 118.42667°W / 33.97278; -118.42667
ZIP Code 90094

Playa Vista was founded in 2002 as a model urban community, combining residential, commercial, and retail components. It is a neighborhood located in the Westside of the City of Los Angeles, California, United States, north of LAX. Prior to the development of Playa Vista, the area was the headquarters of Hughes Aircraft Company from 1941 to 1985, and was famously the site of the construction of the Hughes H-4 Hercules "Spruce Goose" aircraft. Today, this area, along with Santa Monica and Venice, is known as part of Silicon Beach which has become a choice address for businesses in technology, media and entertainment.[1][2][3]



The boundaries of the currently developed portion are approximately Lincoln Boulevard and the Ballona Wetlands on the west, Ballona Creek on the north, Centinela Avenue on the east, and the Del Rey Hills bluffs (Westchester Bluffs) on the south. Playa Vista is bordered by the unincorporated enclave of Marina Del Rey to the northwest, by the community of Playa del Rey to the southwest, by Loyola Marymount University and the upland part of Westchester to the southwest, south, east and southeast, and by the Del Rey district to the northwest.[4]

According to the Mapping L.A. project of the Los Angeles Times, Playa Vista is adjoined on the northwest by Del Rey, on the north and east by Culver City, on the southeast by Westchester and on the west by Marina Del Rey.[5][6]

Street and other boundaries are: Ballona Creek or the Marina Freeway on the northwest and north, the Culver City boundary on the northeast, Bluff Creek Drive or the boundary between Rancho Ballona and Rancho Sausal Redondo on the southeast, followed by Teale Street and Cabora Drive, westerly and unmarked, to include the Ballona Wetlands on the southwest.[7][8]


Relation of Playa Vista to nearby places, not necessarily contiguous:[5][8][9]


The 2000 U.S. census counted 2,416 residents in the 1.3-square-mile Playa Vista neighborhood—an average of 1,859 people per square mile, a very low population density in Los Angeles, but by 2008, the city estimated that the population had increased to 6,010. The median age for residents was 37, considered old for Los Angeles; the percentage of residents aged 65 and older was among the county's highest[7]

The neighborhood was highly diverse ethnically. The breakdown was Latinos, 34.8%; whites, 32.4%; Asians, 21.2%; blacks, 4.7%, and others, 6.9%. Mexico (36.2%) and Guatemala (16.5%) were the most common places of birth for the 31.1% of the residents who were born abroad, about an average figure in Los Angeles.[7]

The median yearly household income in 2008 dollars was $68,597, a high figure for Los Angeles. The average household size of 2.4 people was average for the city. House- or apartment owners occupied 54.8% of the housing stock, and renters occupied 28.5%.[7]

The percentages of divorced men and widowed men and women were among the county's highest. In 2000 there were 33 families headed by single parents, a low rate for Los Angeles. There were 215 veterans, or 11%, a high rate for Los Angeles.[7]




  • Parks: Neighborhood parks, sports fields, and regional hiking parks, are in and adjacent to Playa Vista.



Tongva Native Americans[edit]

Main article: Tongva

The Tongva Native Americans once inhabited the location now occupied by Playa Vista.[19] There was a Tongvan sacred burial site located here: "about 1,000 Native American remains [...] had been exhumed during construction," grave sites that were deemed sacred by the Tongva people.[20] The remains were discovered after construction had begun.[19] In 2008, the remains "were laid to rest and covered with white seashells during a sacred burial ceremony near the Westchester bluffs."[19] In addition, "Playa Vista plans to complete a museum dubbed the Discovery Center to educate people about the Ballona wetlands and the Gabrieliño-Tongva tribe. It is expected to be completed at the end of [2008]."[19]

Port Ballona[edit]

In 1839 the land was part of Rancho La Ballona, later in 1887, it became part of the Port Ballona.[21] [22]

Ballona Creek Watershed[edit]

Prior to its development as headquarters for Hughes Aircraft Company, much of the land occupied by Playa Vista was a wetlands connected with a large salt-marsh in what is now Marina Del Rey. These wetlands were formerly part of the larger Ballona Creek watershed that occupied these areas along with what is now Playa Del Rey, and much of Venice, Los Angeles.[23]

Howard Hughes - Spruce Goose[edit]

In the 1940s, the aviator Howard Hughes bought the site and constructed a private airfield runway, named Hughes Airport, and an aircraft factory with large hangars for his Hughes Aircraft Company production. The famous Spruce Goose (Hughes H-4 Hercules plane), with the largest wingspan and height of any aircraft in history, was built in and the hangar and then transported to Long Beach Harbor for its only flight in 1947. The Spruce Goose was then stored in a climate-controlled hangar at Long Beach Harbor until after Hughes' death in 1976. The hangar will be preserved as a structure eligible for landmark listing in the National Register of Historic Places.


Prior efforts[edit]

During the late 1990s, DreamWorks failed in its attempt to build a studio in Playa Vista.[24][25]

New project[edit]

Phase One of Playa Vista began in 2001 as "a mix of affordable and luxury housing, office and commercial space and open spaces and recreational amenities, all set next to a restored wetlands and wildlife preserve."[26] In October, Steve Soboroff was named president of Playa Vista.[27][28]

It was one of "six communities in the nation selected by President Bill Clinton in 1998 as a National Pilot Project of the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH)."[26] As such it is, "one of the most technologically advanced communities ever planned" and is "fully connected via telecommunications and broadband capabilities."[29]


It was also constructed as, "a model for green development [using] energy saving systems, non-toxic and recycled materials, product selections and design techniques that promote conservation [thus] minimizing the impacts of development on the environment."[29] However, some environmentalists and residents in the nearby communities of Mar Vista, Westchester, and Venice oppose the development arguing that it will increase traffic congestion throughout the Los Angeles Westside.[30] Beginning in 1994, developers and some environmentalists worked together to restore the Ballona Wetlands.[31] Other environmentalists, however, oppose development in the wetlands.[32]


A controversy surrounding methane at Playa Vista developed around 2000. On April 17, 2000, Exploration Technologies Inc. (ETI), "found methane seeps much larger than any previously reported, one about 1,000 feet long, and a second slightly smaller, in the area east of Lincoln Boulevard and south of Jefferson Boulevard."[33] The City Council then asked Playa Vista to conduct more studies with ETI as a peer reviewer.[33] This study found that ETI's original hypothesis was incorrect, and stated that a fault zone did not exist under Lincoln. The study further showed that gas seepage from the SoCal gas storage facility was not occurring. The report concluded that "no significant fault is possible under the entire Playa Vista development project site."[33][34] In 2002, the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) required the installation of gas mitigation systems at Playa Vista, consisting of a membrane shield under the buildings, vents, and a series of alarms.[35]

According to officials at the L.A. Department of Building and Safety, "Methane is an old story in Los Angeles and the standards the city requires at Playa Vista are the strictest in the country. Hence, Playa residents we spoke to cited areas where the gas has not been mitigated - such as Venice, Santa Monica, and nearly all of the Westside - as more dangerous."[36] Many also argue that "much of the methane is natural - not the kind that comes from the gas company."[36]

The Los Angeles City Council has consistently voted in favor of the developers of the project. The development has a government-mandated blend of high- and low-income housing (less than 10%). According to the Los Angeles Times, "[o]ver the last decade, government agencies and courts have ruled repeatedly in Playa Vista's favor [...] Engineers, builders and consultants for the project have joined the city of Los Angeles in saying the safety measures are the most elaborate the city has ever required."[37]

Water conservation[edit]

Today, Playa Vista's parks and landscaped areas are serviced with 100% recycled water.[38]


Commercial activity within Playa Vista:

  • Electronic Arts, a Redwood City-based major developer, marketer, publisher and distributor of video games, operates a large branch campus in Playa Vista.[39][40]
  • Belkin, since February 2010, has its corporate headquarters in Playa Vista.[41]
  • ICANN relocated its corporate headquarters to Playa Vista from nearby Marina Del Rey in June 2012.[42]

Area Businesses:


Other related activity:


Los Angeles Unified School District operates public schools.

As of 2014 the Wiseburn School District allows parents in Ladera Heights to send their children to Wiseburn schools on inter-district transfers.[54]


  1. ^ Logan, Tim (January 2, 2015) "Buoyed by Silicon Beach, Westchester enjoys a housing surge" Los Angeles Times
  2. ^ Vincent, Roger (December 18, 2014) "Playa Vista office complex gets makeover, draws creative tenants" Los Angeles Times
  3. ^ Chang, Andrea (January 16, 2015) "Yahoo to move Santa Monica operations to booming tech hub Playa Vista" Los Angeles Times
  4. ^ Google Maps
  5. ^ a b [1] "Westside," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
  6. ^ [2] "South Bay," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
  7. ^ a b c d e "Playa Vista," Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times
  8. ^ a b The Thomas Guide: Los Angeles County, 2004, pages 672 and 702
  9. ^ Google maps
  10. ^ Pacific Community Police Station - official website of THE LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT
  11. ^ Playa Vista Branch (LAPL)
  12. ^ Playa Vista Dog
  13. ^ Playa Vista Sports Park
  14. ^ Fountain Park At Playa Vista
  15. ^ Playa Vista Central Park
  16. ^ Bike Paths of Los Angeles: Ballona Creek
  17. ^ CLIPPERS: Clippers’ Training Center Press Conference Transcript
  18. ^ CLIPPERS: Clippers Training Center Update
  19. ^ a b c d Restoring harmony with reburial of Native American remains
  20. ^ Williams, Jennifer L., 'Grave Disturbances'
  21. ^ Ranchos and the Politics of Land Claims by Karen Clay and Werner Troesken
  22. ^ Mar Vista Historical Society
  23. ^ The Lost Wetlands of Los Angeles
  24. ^ Spielberg and Partners Drop Long-Troubled Plan to Build Big Studio Complex
  25. ^ Opinions Differ Radically on Impacts of Dreamworks’ Abrupt Exit from Playa Vista
  26. ^ a b Playa Vista Moving Full Speed Ahead For Early 2001 Grand Opening
  27. ^ Vincent, Roger and Groves, Martha (October 18, 2003) "L.A.'s Urban Model" Los Angeles Times
  28. ^ Steve Soboroff Named President of Playa Vista[dead link]
  29. ^ a b Playa Vista Unveils Visitor Center as Leading Homebuilders Move Forward With Construction; First Residents to Move in Next Year
  30. ^ Santa Monica, Environmentalists Go to Court Over Playa Vista Expansion
  31. ^ Developers and Environmentalists Join Forces on Wetlands
  32. ^ The evolution of a Ballona friendship
  33. ^ a b c Just How Much Gas Flows Below?
  34. ^ "Playa Vista Buyers Will Test Capability of Methane Shield; Critics call high-tech safeguards unproven. Courts back experts who devised system."
  35. ^ La Citybeat - Bubbling Trouble
  37. ^ Groves, Martha (January 06, 2003) "Playa Vista Buyers Will Test Capability of Methane Shield" Los Angeles Times'
  38. ^ Reclaimed water now irrigates landscaped open spaces in Playa Vista
  40. ^ Vincent, Roger (August 28, 2014) "Prominent L.A. developer to build unconventional office at Playa Vista" Los Angeles Times
  41. ^ Office Deals in Playa Vista Demonstrate Strength of L.A.’s Westside, CoStar Group Blog, July 2, 2008 .
  42. ^ Vincent, Roger and Chang, Andrea (December 3, 2014) "Google buys 12 acres in Playa Vista, vastly expands presence in L.A." Los Angeles Times
  43. ^ LoopNet Property Records
  44. ^ TBWA\Chiat\Day Website
  45. ^ Deutsch Website
  46. ^ The Argonaut Website
  47. ^ Gehry Partners
  48. ^ TOMS Website
  49. ^ [3]
  50. ^ [4]
  51. ^ [5]
  52. ^ [6]
  53. ^ ICT Website
  54. ^ "Home" (Archive). Wiseburn School District. Retrieved on April 4, 2014. "Also serving the children of employees from the surrounding aerospace, technology, travel, and entertainment industries, as well as families living in the Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Mar Vista, and Ladera Heights area on an interdistrict permit transfer."

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°58′22″N 118°25′36″W / 33.97278°N 118.42667°W / 33.97278; -118.42667