Friday, March 24, 2017

Will Snapchat billionaires buy property on Silicon Beach?

silicon beach los angeles real estate

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Yes, silicon beach is hotter than ever! The real estate market has a life of its own and with more than 700 technology companies and still more to come it seems the market is just beginning to bubble and will keep on going. Interest rates are still historically low and this micro climate is the place to be.

Will Snapchat billionaires buy property in Silicon Beach?

From Property Forum, written by Nicholas Wallwork, March 21st, 2017

The recent flotation of Snapchat was extremely well received by the markets hitting a high which valued the company at $28 billion. While the share price has fallen back the founders of the company are now multi-billionaires. So, will the new Snapchat billionaires follow the general trend and by heavily into real estate?


Many believe that Silicon Beach will benefit from the recent flotation of Snapchat and the fact the area is home to the Los Angeles tech start-up industry. While it will be near impossible for any area of America to compete with Silicon Valley there is certainly some money floating around Silicon Beach. This 4 mile stretch of coastline is home to some of the most luxurious properties you could ever hope to see and real estate agents are already rubbing their hands in glee.
While the name might suggest a close correlation with Silicon Valley the culture around Silicon Beach is more hip and arty than pure techie. Indeed many people would suggest there are more pool parties than board meetings in the area which probably says it all.


The average property in Silicon Beach is now worth about $1.88 million which is up 30% from 12 months previous. This perfectly reflects the ongoing focus on technology companies in the area and with many experts suggesting an array of technology IPOs will follow Snapchat, the money could keep flowing. While there are some concerns that the area is approaching a property price bubble, is it really fair to compare and contrast with traditional valuation methods. Properties in Silicon Valley seem to live a charmed life with very little in the way of connection with the real world.
The fact that Silicon Beach was described as a “backwater” just a few years ago would suggest the market is still relatively young. There is always concern when markets go up in a straight line, going against the trend, but when relating to technology shares and stock market flotations, is this not a whole different ballgame?


Silicon Beach was initially seen as an escape route for those looking to avoid high rents and high property prices in San Francisco Bay. The fact that more than 700 technology companies now have offices in the region would suggest that it is starting to build its own economic climate. We know from the success of Silicon Valley that putting technology companies together creates a cumulative impact on local real estate.
While the likes of Facebook, Google and Microsoft have offices in the region there are many small up-and-coming companies which could yet raise significant funds. The next influx of property investors will be prompted by the Snapchat flotation even though the market has been extremely strong of late.


When looking at the likes of Silicon Valley and Silicon Beach it can be easy to compare and contrast with traditional real estate markets. The reality is that these areas are based upon growing technology companies and the microeconomic climate often varies enormously from the general economy. So, as much as people are trying to talk down the value of property in Silicon Beach and “avoid a property price bubble” these are not traditional markets, they are not valued by traditional barometers and they really do have a life of their own.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Keshav Tadimeti: LA’s Silicon Beach must complement Silicon Valley, not replace it

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I love this article from the Daily Bruin. I was born and raised in the bay area's Silicon Valley but now happily based in LA's Silicon Beach. Real estate continues to boom around here. California is definitely the place to be but Silicon Beach's high technology community has the potential to carve a niche as a diversifying force on the technicality-obsessed tech Silicon scene. There is so much talent and resources here with so much to offer. Silicon Beach needs to distinguish itself as more than just the alternative to Silicon Valley as LA being the second largest city in the U.S. has a huge impact on society.

Keshav Tadimeti: LA’s Silicon Beach must complement Silicon Valley, not replace it

(Juliette Le Saint/Daily Bruin)

 By Keshav Tadimeti Posted:  March 9, 2017   7:13 pm

The California technology industry has a bright future – a bright and sandy one, that is.

For several decades, California’s Silicon Valley has been the global face of technological advancement. Everything from the genesis of startup culture to the creation of game-changing social media applications took place within the Northern California valley, and the technological metropolis now hosts innovative giants from the likes of Google and Facebook.

But that culture is now becoming a thing of the past. Overcrowding, toxic competitiveness and disconnect with society at large have begun to challenge the very optimistic ingenuity on which Silicon Valley built itself.

Enter Silicon Beach.

Emerging from the sandy silica beaches of Venice and Santa Monica, Los Angeles’ Silicon Beach offers a palm-tree-riddled respite from the Silicon Valley hustle. And over the past few years, the Beach has become a nebula for startups, giving way for entrepreneurial unicorns like Snap – the parent company of Snapchat – and Tinder.

But Silicon Beach now stands to become a replica of Silicon Valley, emulating not only its glory, but also its problems. And Los Angeles, a city that already faces infrastructure and development challenges, has neither the resources nor the space to sustain such a shift.

Therefore, Silicon Beach needs to market itself as more than just the beachside version of Silicon Valley. The city government – specifically its chief innovation technology officer – can better integrate Silicon Beach into the rest of the city by engaging startups to more prominently solve LA’s infrastructure and societal problems.

The birth of Silicon Beach is quite similar to that of Silicon Valley. The invention of transistors in the 1960s breathed life into Northern California by marrying technology with venture capitalism. Silicon Beach had comparable origins going as far back as 2006, when bright-eyed inventors found an environment less crowded than Silicon Valley in Santa Monica’s beaches. And in the midst of Hollywood’s investment scene, Silicon Beach presented itself as a technological outlet for entertainment, as signaled by the birth of Snapchat, Oculus and other media-based startups that have had notable success.

But the challenges of Silicon Valley are now starting to spill over into Los Angeles. After more than 40 years of growth, the Valley is reaching carrying capacity. Startups are reaching a point of suffocation, faced with the constant worry of retaining employees, who are sometimes easily drawn away by technology giants. Even the infrastructure has taken a toll: Rent prices have skyrocketed and the practice of sharing homes to cut down costs has become regular.

Companies are now starting to set their eyes on Silicon Beach. But as much as it seems like a “desert paradise” on the surface, Los Angeles cannot sustain the explosive growth of Silicon Valley. Affordable housing and lack of space are already problems endemic in the city, and places like Playa Vista and Westchester have seen home prices shoot up thanks to tech companies flocking down to LA.

Thus, Silicon Beach needs to distinguish itself as more than just the alternative to Silicon Valley. With the entertainment resources of Hollywood and the benefits of the second-largest city in the U.S., Silicon Beach has the potential to carve a niche for itself as a diversifying force on the technicality-obsessed tech Silicon scene.

This is where City Hall can step in. In 2014, Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed the city’s first chief innovation technology officer, whose role is to utilize new technologies to help the city government better solve problems. Among other things, the office has been able to create a mobile application to report and address illegal dumping and potholes on the streets.

Consider the possibilities if the chief innovation technology officer were to employ startups that already exist to help address the city’s problems. By combining the potential of these companies with the entertainment backing of Hollywood, the city would not only receive a greater audience, but also be able to achieve a great deal more. Be it enlisting companies specializing in virtual reality to help address the concerns of city development or utilizing entertainment-based streaming services marketed by startups to better inform citizens of the inner workings of certain municipal departments, City Hall wouldn’t just better serve Angelenos. It would also cultivate a distinct character for Silicon Beach that incorporates entertainment, technology and the city at large.

And through this development, Silicon Beach would be better poised for its much-needed cultural shift from something more than just a convenient real estate option for space-hungry Silicon Valley companies.

Certainly, Los Angeles is not immune to the problems of Silicon Valley, and the competitiveness and toll on infrastructure will manifest in some capacity. However, by differentiating itself as a complement to Silicon Valley, Silicon Beach can better cultivate creativity while minimizing the long-lasting negative effects on Los Angeles.

And while specializing in the entertainment- or city-oriented brand of startups – as opposed to being a generalized breeding ground for any kind of startup – can seem to limit the region’s economic potential, we shouldn’t forget how Hollywood’s entertainment specialization or New York’s Broadway scene only brought more talent to the cities, albeit in a more focused manner. And there would arguably still be a wide range of applications that even the city’s college students can develop under such specialization.

The sandy beaches of Santa Monica and Venice have more to offer the world than just well-packaged nutrient shakes or video doorbells, and Silicon Beach can be more than just the awkward younger sibling of Silicon Valley. But it has to market itself in a way that combines the various facets innate to the City of Angels.

Los Angeles is on the crux of a spectrum wide shift to identify what kind of city it wants to be. And if done right, Silicon Beach can help it do just that.