Not so Clueless Valley
"Looks like we’re gonna have to make a cameo at the Val party,” made famous by the 1995 popular firm Clueless. For people living on the westside of Los Angeles, going “over the hill” was entering suburbia and away from the cool areas. As a bona fide “valley girl” born and raised, the San Fernando Valley has been home. However, the valley is starting to come into focus once again, but not for its mall hang-outs or house parties: the valley is experiencing a resurgence of commercial development.
The Warner Center of Woodland Hills, filled with high-rise office buildings, apartments and retail is being dubbed the new downtown of the valley. Westfield has already launched The Village and is also proposing a new $1.5M mixed-use complex where the current Promenade sits. In part of the new 2035 plan, Westfield is capitalizing on the Warner Center specific plan that allows for a variety of approved uses. Currently, the project is proposing 1,432 residential units, 244,000 square feet of retail space, 629,000 square feet of office space, two hotels, and a 15,000-seat entertainment and sports complex. Construction is expected to start in 2021 and conclude in 2033.
Another project by Adler Realty proposes converting the current office park along De Soto Avenue and Burbank Boulevard into 9 buildings with 1,000 residential units, one hotel, and 1.4M square feet of commercial space including offices and retail. While plans for the $1B project are still under review with the City, completion is anticipated to be a few years away.
The owner of Mall of America is currently in negotiations to purchase the former Rocketdyne site, which moved operations to the Northridge location in 2013. Not much has been disclosed given the transaction is pending, but plans for the site include 6M square feet of development.
Studio City has been known for having some high-street retail for the valley, especially bordering Laurel Canyon and Laurel Grove along Ventura Boulevard. Laurel Canyon is the gateway to Hollywood and the Melrose corridor, catering to locals and the celebrity crowds with typically lower rents than found on the westside. Even today, Studio City is experiencing a new resurgence of recognizable retail brands.
A long-time local restaurant Du-pars closed in 2017 and the owners of the property signed a lease with the cosmetic retailer Sephora. According to CoStar reports, Sephora signed a 10-year lease for the 6,247 square foot space and is anticipated to open Summer 2018. Ownership placed the property on the market around June 2017 and a lease was finalized around December 2017.
The NoHo arts district and adjacent areas have been transforming the once industrial pocket into a vibrant collective of retailers, businesses, and home to those who wish to escape the rising costs of living in the Silverlake and Echo Park areas. A benefit of the area is its proximity to the Burbank studios, and the Metro redline which offers direct travel into downtown. Many of the bars and restaurants such as The Federal and Idle Hour are located along Lankershim Boulevard. Magnolia Boulevard has offered a place for some of the not so secret retailers such as The Republic of Pie.
Recognizing trend for urbanization and revitalization, the historical 1890s Train Depot was brought back to life with Groundwork Coffee. Offering riders and residents delicious coffee, and an avocado toast that will appease any millennial.
A mixed-use development by the Richman Group is underway adjacent to the station, offering 127 apartments and 13,000 square feet of commercial space with completion anticipated in 2019.
Another development is pending from a venture between LA Metro and Trammell Crow Company. The 15-acre project is pending with 1,500 residential units, 450,000 square feet of offices and 150,000 square feet of retail. This massive undertaking is positioned to transform the existing redline station into an urban corridor and align with municipality goals to increase housing near public transportation lines.
While development projects often come with different ranges of perspectives, either exciting or concern, one huge question still remains. Once the developments are complete and more space enters into the market, will this have a positive or negative affect on rental and vacancy rates? Of course, all this is dependent upon the outlook of the market economy. Since development projects take several years to complete, they are often behind the curve. Time will tell, but it is certain that the valley is not clueless to the growing demand for commercial and residential space, and is appealing to modern mixed-use trends.
Please note the list of available properties has been provided by third party listing sources and is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy of the information or make claims to any exclusive listings, unless outlined in a specific agreement.