Why has Culver City Become a Booming Area?
4 REASONS WHY IT IS CONSIDERED A DESTINATION, ESPECIALLY FOR BUSINESSES
Rise and shine. Culver City is no longer the sleepy town that drivers would pass by on their way to Beverly Hills or Venice. Angelinos are actually making the city a destination to shop and eat. Given relatively cheaper rents, companies and workers are setting up shop and calling the city home. The city has also spent the last 10 years expanding its sidewalks, constructing parking structures and making the area pedestrian, bike and transit friendly. The following are four reasons why Culver City is considered a destination. Of course, there are many other reasons that account for the city’s boom and all reasons are interconnected with each other. For the sake of brevity, I have kept the list of reasons to a few.
1. Expo Line
ne reason why Culver City has developed into a lively and prosperous area is with the introduction of the Metro Expo Line, which opened in April 2012. This allows people who reside in the east to arrive in the city in a timely manner. Located on the intersection of Venice and National Boulevards, the stop is within walking distance to attractions such as Sony Pictures Studios and various Downtown restaurants and shops. The Culver City station is the last stop in Phase I of the Metro Expo Line, which is currently expanding to Santa Monica in Phase II – expecting completion by 2015.
2. Central Location
Another reason for Culver City’s success is its location. It is positioned near other prosperous areas such as Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Venice and Playa Vista. Freeway access from and to the city is no hassle. A small portion of the 405 freeway goes over the city’s roads. The 10 freeway lies just north of the city’s northeastern border. For those traveling for business or pleasure, LAX is only about 7 miles away, making for a fairly short and straightforward drive. Santa Monica, Brentwood, Westwood and Beverly Hills cannot make similar claims. The shorter time it takes to drive to the airport makes Culver City an ideal place for an office, especially if a firm depends on frequent travel as a way of doing business.
3. Cheaper Rents & Low Taxes
With relatively low rents and purchase prices for the Western Los Angeles area, Culver City is a lucrative area to live and work. According to a September 2013 report from RadPad, the median rent for a 1 bedroom apartment is $1,645. This is significantly lower in comparison to nearby areas, such as Santa Monica, Venice and Marina Del Rey – where median rents are $2,330, $2,075 and $2,220, respectively. High rents in Westside neighborhoods are persuading single and multi-person households to move to cheaper areas, including Culver City.
Less expensive office rents are also making it lucrative for businesses to start or relocate their businesses. Rates around Downtown Culver City range from $2 to $3.25 per square foot per month, whereas rents in Santa Monica range from $3.25 to more than $4 per square foot per month. In fact, Beats by Dre (rumored that it will be purchased by Apple for $3.2 billion) is relocating its headquarters from Santa Monica to the Hayden Tract in Culver City. Because of their abundance and cheaper prices, industrial warehouses are being converted to creative office spaces for tech, media and entertainment companies.
The abundance of low taxes and tax breaks makes the city a great place to do business. For example, there is currently a suspension on business taxes levied to media production companies. This temporary policy, lasting until 2016, is expected to lure smaller production companies. In turn, these companies do not pay business taxes, while the city earns revenue in other ways – including sales tax.
Getting away from its sleepy past, Culver City is waking up to brand new development. New commercial projects are emphasizing mixed-use buildings, which would bring apartments, retail, and offices into a centralized location. Helms Bakery, a former bread factory, has been converted to a mixed design and restaurant center. Examples of new projects currently underway include Access Culver City, Hayden Tract Office Developments, and The Platform. Other projects planned include the Lowe Mixed Use Development and Parcel B.
Numerous projects are being built on streets near the Culver City stop of the Expo Line. Developers are hoping people will commute to work or visit shops by rail. But other thoroughfares are seeing revitalization as well, including Sepulveda & Culver Boulevards.
Culver City is a great place to lease or buy commercial real estate in Los Angeles County. It boasts cheap rents/prices and it is centrally located – a short drive from Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Venice, and LAX. The city has great transportation, especially with the addition of the Expo Line – something that Santa Monica or Beverly Hills cannot brag about (yet). It is a great place to do business with loose tax regulations and plenty of developments have been constructed or are currently in construction. If Culver City continues to be a business-friendly community, many more projects will undoubtedly get underway.