Los Angeles has a limited supply of funky brick-and-timber buildings ready to repurpose. Despite this scarcity, there is an abundance of single-story, stand-alone concrete buildings in soon-to-be-hip areas that can serve as incubators for the start-up creative companies that crop up on a weekly basis throughout the city.
Once one looks beyond the fears and stereotypical images of gentrification, including displaced low-income families and boarded-up mom-and-pop retail, it’s evident the arrival of these creative enclaves spawns new pocket neighborhoods that don’t need to rely on fast food, supermarket chains or national retailers for their livelihood. LA’s congested freeways have made way for something positive–a creative neighborhood renaissance.
Enter the hipster. The hipster Live-Work-Play model is the basis of nearly every creative/tech enclave. Hipsters dislike anything mainstream and continually seek unique experiences and environments. For the most part, they move into areas that are considered somewhat blighted or underprivileged, and rather than simply transform a neighborhood, they become part of it. They may open a restaurant or microbrewery, but they don’t rally to shutter the bodega or piñata store next door. They coexist. They become part of the fabric that defines the neighborhood and leaves it intact.
The tech culture currently thriving on the Westside is spreading to the rest of LA and into its many diverse and interesting neighborhoods. These creative communities dot the Los Angeles landscape and are beginning to link together to form a cohesive tech/creative community that will continue to attract investment and accommodate the needs of start-ups. Those priced out of Santa Monica have options in Culver City, Playa Vista, Westwood, Downtown, Hollywood, and Pasadena. LA is becoming more than Silicon Beach and evolving into Silicon Belt.