Two years after its official grand opening, Playa Vista announced last week that the development has sold its 1,000th home.
Some buyers purchased their properties predominantly based on architectural renderings and floor plans, Playa Vista officials said.
Playa Vista claimed it had “interest lists” of those interested in purchasing at Playa Vista with “tens of thousands” of names.
Combined, these sales represent more than half a billion dollars in net new property value in Los Angeles, Playa Vista officials said.
Playa Vista officials claim that the interest in Playa Vista homes is fueled, in part, by a growing disdain for long work commutes from outlying areas.
“People want to live closer to where they work and leave the long commutes behind,” said Playa Vista president Steve Soboroff.
A jobs/housing imbalance on the Westside is driving the demand for new housing, he said.
Fifty-five percent of Playa Vista homeowners say they now live within ten miles of their jobs, and 24 percent say that their work commute has been shortened to within a five-mile radius, according to Playa Vista officials.
Many residents live and work within the Playa Vista community, he added.
The for-sale residential products range from lofts and two-bedroom condominiums to multi-story town homes and single- family homes.
Playa Vista has some “controlled-price units” that make purchasing a home at Playa Vista more affordable for public servants, including firefighters, nurses, police officers and teachers, Soboroff said.
To date, 61 percent of the new homeowners at Playa Vista came from rental apartments.
“In an area where we could easily sell million-dollar homes only, Playa Vista has stepped in to fill housing demands across the board and attract people back to the city in a way no other area in Los Angeles has been able to do,” Soboroff claimed.
Playa Vista officials say that in surveys conducted of new homeowners, a large majority were attracted to Playa Vista for the overall community benefits, including access to dozens of parks, protected open space areas, a new city library, diversity of housing and the opening of retail businesses within walking or biking distance of every home.
Also, many residents were attracted to Playa Vista for its location near the beach and proximity to employment centers on the Westside, Playa Vista officials added.
One such couple is Richard and Pam DeArmas, who moved from West Covina to Playa Vista in 2003.
Richard DeArmas, a projection engineer at Sony Pictures in Culver City, reduced his 90-minute evening commute to less than 15 minutes.
“He’d get home so late, we weren’t doing anything during the week,” Pam DeArmas said. “We just needed a whole big change.”
With their children grown and starting families of their own, the DeArmases sold their four-bedroom home of 16 years and moved to Playa Vista.
“I’m not rushed anymore to go to work,” Richard DeArmas said. “Pam and I have a life together now, and I’d forgotten what that was like.”
Playa Vista will create an additional 1,200 residential units in the first phase of development, and an additional 2,600 units in the next phase, which has already broken ground.
The next phase calls for a Village Town Center that will feature a supermarket, restaurants, neighborhood retailers and a community center.
Retail developer Rick Caruso is developing the town center, which will include apartments above retail stores.
“People should come down and visit and see what the future looks like,” Soboroff said. “We have affordable apartments next to million-dollar homes next to lofts, all within a minute’s walk to a beautiful park.
“Seventy percent of the community is open space or parks, which means that housing is more compact. The result is an urban environment and a sense of community you don’t see enough of in Los Angeles.”
Waterstone, a collection of flats and condominiums at market rate, had prices starting from the high $400,000s when released for sale last December and January.
Bridgeway Mills, a series of townhomes with loft-like architectural details inspired by the famed districts of SoHo and San Francisco, are priced from the $700,000s.
Catalina had home prices ranging from $275,000 to $410,000 when sales began in April last year.
By the time construction was completed in December last year, all 66 entry-level town homes and condominiums had already sold out.
Playa Vista is the master developer for the property, and sells land to merchant builders who design, construct and sell individual neighborhoods. Merchant builders featured at Playa Vista include Brookfield Homes, D.R. Horton, Intracorp ñ LA, John Laing Homes, KB Home, Laing Luxury, Lee Homes, Lennar Homes, Shea Homes, Standard Pacific Homes, The Olson Company, Warmington Homes and West Millennium Homes.