Marc Huffman, vice president for planning and entitlement for Playa Vista, was the featured guest speaker at the Marina Affairs Committee meeting Wednesday, September 17th, at Tony P’s restaurant in Marina del Rey.
The Marina Affairs Committee is a committee of the LAX Coast al Area Chamber of Commerce.
Huffman discussed ongoing elements of development at Playa Vista, and three new commercial residents — X Prize, Fox Interactive Media, and Belkin International Inc. — that will be moving their companies to Playa Vista.
The X Prize Foundation, moving to Playa Vista Wednesday, October 1st, is an educational nonprofit prize institution that fosters innovation through competition, and will be leasing nearly 18,000 square feet in the Water’s Edge office complex at the northeast corner of Jefferson and Lincoln Boulevards, an area anchored by the Southern California studio of Electronic Arts, an independent developer and publisher of interactive entertainment and games software.
In 2004, the foundation garnered world attention when the Burt Rutan-led team flew the world’s first private spaceship to win the $10 million Ansari X Prize for suborbital flight.
Fox Interactive Media will consolidate its Los Angeles facilities in 421,000 square feet of office space at Horizon at Playa Vista, relocating more than 2,000 of its employees by June.
The property is in The Campus section at the intersection of Bluff Creek Drive and Campus Center Drive, adjacent to the Westchester Bluffs, in the eastern portion of the mixed-use Playa Vista development.
Technology company Belkin International Inc. will also consolidate its other Los Angeles-area offices and will move to Playa Vista after the new office buildings are completed at the end of next year.
Planning to occupy 150,000 square feet of the four-building first phase of Playa Vista’s office campus, Belkin would occupy almost half of the available space on the 64-acre site that also houses the two Howard Hughes hangars and offices, where Hughes built the Spruce Goose airplane in the 1940s.
The new Los Angeles Clippers professional basketball team’s training center — at The Campus on Centinela Avenue — has just received an occupancy permit, said Huffman.
The training center is on a two-acre parcel at The Campus and contains two full basketball courts and a 2,600-square-foot performance and strength-training area with cardiovascular and weight training equipment, fully contained locker rooms, a hydrotherapy area and a training room for players and coaches, and offices for the Clippers basketball Operations Department.
Huffman said new public parks are planned for The Campus, with 12 acres dedicated to spacious athletic fields, an outdoor amphitheater, botanical walks, a garden, water features and public art.
The 7.9-acre Campus Central Park will be the centerpiece, including recreational facilities with an artificial-turf soccer field, a sand volleyball court, a full-court basketball court and an area for boccie ball.
A band shell performance area with sloped-lawn seating is envisioned as an outdoor venue for concerts, children’s plays, movies and theater, with a children’s playground for the youngest residents and visitors to play in, said Huffman.
Court Park, consisting of nearly three acres, will include a tennis court, two half-basketball courts and two full basketball courts, one of which will be a feature court with amphitheater-style seats situated around the perimeter. The park will also feature a botanical walk and a novel “tot lot” with a climbing boulder.
At the corner of Bluff Creek Drive and Centinela Avenue, a skateboard park designed by former professional skateboarders will feature an iconic piece of art commissioned by Playa Vista from nationally recognized artist Susan Narduli that will extend 25 to 30 feet into the air, a portion of which will be skateable, and an accompanying pro shop that will feature a green, sustainable roof, said Huffman.
Public services include the fire department, an urgent care center, a drop-in facility police station and a public library.
Huffman said a grocery store, Yummy, is expected to open later this fall in the Concert Park area, joining other retail shops.
Yummy will be an upscale, full-service grocery store open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to midnight, with fresh produce, meat and prepared foods, a full array of dairy products, packaged groceries, liquor, beer and wine. For quick carry-out meals, a hot food and deli counter will be available. Shopping online will also be an option, with groceries delivered to Playa Vista, Loyola Marymount University and homes in Westchester.
The Playa Vista beach shuttle is in its fourth year and ridership has skyrocketed, said Huffman. Last year ridership was at 3,000, but this year it has more than doubled.
The shuttle operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and goes from Playa Vista to Marina del Rey and then to the Venice Pier and back. It also operated for the concert series on weekends. Ultimately, the goal is to have the shuttle operating year-round, Huffman said.
MARINA CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU — Other business at the meeting included a presentation by Beverly Moore, executive director of the Marina del Rey Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Moore distributed a Marina del Rey Walking Tours “Coastal Warmth, L.A. Cool” four-page, color brochure about Marina del Rey that visitors and residents can utilize to tour the area.
It was written by David Peevers, an author, photographer and adventurer, who has contributed to various guidebooks and publications over the years.
The walking tours guide highlights areas such as Mothers Beach, vessels and boats on Palawan Way, Admiralty Park, Burton Chace Park, various yacht clubs, the WaterBus dock, the Marina Peninsula, Fisherman’s Village, Ballona Creek Bridge, the UCLA Marine Aquatic Center, Abbot Kinney Boulevard, and the Venice Canals and Walkways.
Peevers also includes a map of Marina del Rey, complete with all street names so that even the individual who gets lost looking at maps can easily get back on track with the map, and a walking tours legend at the bottom of the map.
For those wondering how long this walking tour might last, or how long they might last taking the tour, Peevers has a small clock on the page for each area, describing the time in language such as. “Turf-Pounders, 20 minutes, “Pleasure Puppies, one hour.”
Moore said that Marina del Rey has been receiving increasing mention in travel and other magazines that cater to tourism.
The walking tour brochure is available at www.visitmarina .com/. Click on “Things to Do,” then click on “No Car Needed,” to print the brochure.