Friday, February 27 2015

KFA and the Creative Office (R)Evolution

Creative Office Main Story Image_v

As technology continues to develop and the modern workplace is reimagined around changing work needs, “creative office” has become quite the buzzword throughout Los Angeles.  Creative office enclaves have surfaced from Downtown LA to Pasadena, and from Hollywood to Silicon Beach as many creative professionals gravitate to a workplace that reflects their culture and lifestyle.  Below is a brief timeline of our projects over the years and trends we have noticed as this evolving office model begins to gain traction in our city.

1999:  The Live/Work Loft, the Anti-Office

Rowan Building / 2121 Artists’ Lofts & Townhomes/ Ostrich Farm

Live/work units naturally adapt to telecommuting and the remote workplace.  The flexibility and mobility provided by advancements in technology challenge the tradition of a rigid office-centric nine-to-five ritual and creative professionals are able to incorporate work into their lives seamlessly.  Neighborhoods like Downtown Los Angeles became live/work/play in part because of the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance of 1999, which facilitated the densification of our urban centers and the new desire for walkable neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area.

2012:  The Office Building, Reconsidered

Taft Building / 901 Abbot Kinney

The corner of Hollywood and Vine has it all.  With lofts, restaurants, bars, culture, and a Metro Red Line Station within steps, the extensive renovation brings the Taft back to its throne at the hub of Hollywood.  Over the years, the tenant space configuration remained similar to that of the 1920’s when the building was constructed.  Offices were small and closed, with focus on the individual. The creative office tenants of today love this building (read more in our interview on GlobeSt.com) that has been transformed both inside and out.  Not only have the cubicle and the corner office become the bullpen, the war room, the breakout space, and the collaborative studio, but the neighborhood has become the meeting place, the networking opportunity, and the social playground.  We have seen this happen in other thriving communities from Old Town Pasadena to Silicon Beach, where the City has truly become the amenity.

2013:  The Live/Work Loft Transforms Creative Communities

Elysian Valley Riverfront Creative Campus

Capturing the passion of the LA river revitalization and the intrinsic artistic tradition of the Frogtown neighborhood, the Elysian Valley Riverfront Creative Campus reflects a growing Los Angeles creative office niche by providing flexible space where people can live and create. Inspired by a village approach, the shared communal spaces are interwoven through the site and promote a maker lifestyle, with a seamless connection to the LA Riverfront, adjacent bike path, and newly opened Marsh Street Park.  The expansive live/work units are complemented by new creative office space and an existing 1940’s bowstring truss building housing the flex spaces sought out by the local artists and craftsmen.

2015:  The Campus Attracts Industry Talent

MGA Campus

Community/gathering, health/wellness and fun/whimsy form the core tenets that organize MGA’s visionary creative campus, including 700 new apartment units, over 24 acres in Chatsworth. A national entertainment company with local roots, MGA is developing 255,000 sf of creative office space occupying a former LA Times printing plant (read more in the SFV Business Journal article).  With brightly lit collaborative spaces arranged along ‘the boulevard’, the office areas are augmented with a central ‘living room’, game areas, cafeteria, auditoriums, and on-site production studios.

In order to attract and keep innovative industry talent, MGA has endeavored to complete a holistic lifestyle for their employees while offering something extra to draw local residents. On-site amenities include: a village green with open air movie nights, day care, amphitheater, dog park, exercise path, 14,000 sf of neighborhood serving retail, transit plaza connecting to regional hubs, community bike share, edible gardens, orchards, pools and flexible community spaces.