A dearth of chemical-free baby products inspired actress and mom Jessica Alba to start her  own business

A dearth of chemical-free baby products inspired actress and mom Jessica Alba to start her
own business

First came movie magic-makers IMAX.

Then video game designers Sony Santa Monica Studios and web giant Yahoo Inc. followed suit.

And now The Honest Company — an online retailer of non-toxic household goods founded by actress Jessica Alba in 2011 — is the latest tech-savvy major employer to abandon Santa Monica for Playa Vista.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Monday that The Honest Co. has signed a long-term lease to move into a three-floor, 83,000-square-foot space at i|o Playa Vista, located at 12130 Millennium Drive.

Developers Clarion Partners purchased the former Latitude 34 complex last year for $132 million and spent $8 million to convert its unoccupied traditional office space into i|o, a creative office space campus with indoor/outdoor workspaces designed to encourage collaboration.

The Honest Company plans to leave their current 18,000-square-foot headquarters at 2700 Pennsylvania Ave., just north of Bergamot Station, and move into their new digs by early next year, according to the city’s office of economic development.

“Playa Vista is the next frontier of technology in Los Angeles and we’re excited to be calling it home,” Alba,
The Honest Company’s chief creative officer, said in a statement. “It’s inspiring to share the imagination and energy at the heart of innovation with like-minded companies as neighbors. We’re looking forward to building a unique cultural atmosphere that creates more tech opportunities in Playa Vista.”

The Honest Co. raised $70 million in venture capital last year and business experts anticipate an initial public offering as early as this year.

“Los Angeles is the perfect home for The Honest Company, an emerging brand committed to service and sustainability, and we welcome the company and its hundreds of employees to the expanding community at Playa Vista. This move proves once again that our city is the place for companies to do business,” Garcetti’s statement reads.

A largely built-out city where many residents are hostile to growth — under threat of voter referendum, the city cancelled approval of a controversial creative office development near Bergamot Station last year — Santa Monica’s economic loss appears to be Playa Vista’s gain.

“Smart, tech-savvy companies like The Honest Company are continuing to create good jobs as they move in to Playa Vista, and I am very excited to see our vision for the community continue to be realized,” L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin said.

— Gary Walker