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Silicon Beach Dirt

Posted by John Hathorn on May 24, 2018
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Silicon Beach Dirt


When I was a kid growing up in Venice we called all the area around us Venice. Even at my middle school, ironically named Marina Del Rey Middle School, it seemed that my friends either lived in Venice or Mar Vista. You only lived in the Marina if you lived aboard a boat – in the Marina. Now there are more neighborhood names than I can think of- Venice, Venice Beach, Playa Del Rey, Del Rey, Silver Triangle, Golden Triangle, Marina Del Rey, President’s Row, The Canals, The Peninsula, Abbott Kinney, Main Street… the list goes on-and-on. Other than “The Westside”, I can’t recall 2 or 3 different cities near here (Santa Monica, Playa del Rey and Venice) being referred to under one name until the name “Silicon Beach” started popping up several years ago. In case you might be wondering which tech companies made the Silicon Beach name a thing, here you go…..


The subscription movie & TV show giant Hulu moved its headquarters to Santa Monica in 2013.  The company is owned mainly by Disney & Comcast. While Netflix is the hands-down heavy hitter in terms of original series success, Hulu has been able to provide the widest variety of tv shows to markets that don’t even have cable tv service. Though Hulu had a rough 2017, it has proved that tech companies and entertainment companies coming together will innovate great apps and streaming services.


Snapchat, the multimedia messaging app that gained its popularity by allowing the messages, videos and photos sent, to be deleted by the sender almost as soon as they were sent. As a bonus, if the recipient takes a screenshot of the photo, the sender will be notified of the screenshot.  It’s recently been reported that Snapchat put up their office spaces in Venice for lease due to neighborhood outcry. The locals felt that Snapchat’s presence was changing the character of Venice. The company has since planned to move their offices near Santa Monica Airport.

Activision Blizzard Inc. & Electronic Arts Inc.

Activision Blizzard & Electronic Arts are the top two largest video gaming companies in America & Europe. EA, which is based out of Playa Vista, has dominated the sports video game industry with games like FIFA & Madden. Activision Blizzard, based out of Santa Monica, has found success with more fantasy style games like World of Warcraft & Overwatch. Oddly enough both companies have the best stock performance of all the companies mentioned so far. Something to consider when your kids confess they want to make or play video games for a living.


Wevr (formerly known as WemoLAB) is a Virtual Reality Media Player development company based out of the westside. They develop immersive and interactive virtual reality experiences that explore nature, science, fantasy and art. Wevr chose its location in an effort to immerse their tech company developers with film industry professionals in order to pioneer the future of virtual reality entertainment.


Tradesy is an online platform where users can buy and sell used designer clothing & accessories. It was started by Tracy Dinunzio here in Santa Monica and was estimated to have grown to a $100 million company. In a world that’s starting to really value sustainable consumption, Tradesy should have a pretty bright future ahead of it.

YouTube Space (Los Angeles)

While the YouTube Space building is not technically in what would be considered Silicon Beach, I thought It would be worth mentioning, since YouTube is the number 1 social media platform on the internet. YouTube is trying to empower their elite content creators with a hands-on professional film/tv studio experience. Their mission is to eventually have YouTube content quality rival that of television. So, they built a massive LA studio inside a 41,000 sq ft hangar, where YouTube partners can learn about video production tech, use backdrops, green screens and staged studios to improve the quality of their content.


Google also has an office in Playa Vista for some of their Engineering & Sales departments. Google describes the office as “more boardshorts than boardroom”. The architecture of the office doesn’t disappoint and according to their website, beach brainstorm breaks are a regular thing.

According to the City of Santa Monica website the creative & tech sector employs roughly a third of Santa Monica and brings in about $3.5 billion a year.  It’s pretty clear that the Westside is, and will continue to be the place where the tech world and entertainment world come together.  All this tech growth continues to bode well for Westside real estate values, and speaking of…


In real estate news…

Two new listings came to market, one is already sold and the other shouldn’t be far behind!

718 10th Street– Listed for $7,295,000. New construction contemporary traditional- over 6,300 sqft with 5 bedrooms, 6 baths. This one was on the market in 2016 as a lot value with approved plans for $3,195,000. When it did not sell, the owner built it. Last sold in 2015 for $2,600,000.

452 21st Place– Listed for $6,795,000 and already under contract. Built in 2015 with a true eye for design this approximately 5,000 sqft house has everything today’s Buyers are looking for, plus that extra “wow” factor.

Also, in escrow…

434 22rd Street- Under contract after a price reduction from $6,488,000 to $5,999,999. Large Mediterranean approximately 6,263 square feet of living space on a 7,500 ft lot. A traditional floor plan with 4 bedrooms upstairs and one guest bedroom downstairs, plus large area that can be a screening room, wine cellar or playroom. Gourmet kitchen that opens to the backyard pool area. Last sold 10/29/2013 for $4,095,000. 


No new sales to report.




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