April 24, 2019

The companies coming and going in Silicon Beach!



Last week we wrote about HBO leaving Santa Monica and heading over to Culver City in a new, expansive office. But this week, we want to highlight all of the companies making their way into Silicon Beach.

Silicon Beach has been a hotbed for tech in LA for over a decade, with companies such as Youtube, Hulu, Headspace and Snap Inc. calling the area home. According to an article published by Built in LA, Silicon Beach is home to more than 500 companies with startups alone raising $4.2 billion in 2016.

As the economy in Silicon Beach continues to grow and evolve, more companies are planning on making the community home including the global law firm Goodwin who recently announced plans to set up a new practice in Santa Monica dedicated to private equity and technology.

Goodwin will be located at 520 Broadway in Santa Monica. It will initially take up more than 20,000 square feet over the building’s entire fifth floor. The office will be home to approximately 20 technology and private equity lawyers, including current Goodwin lawyers who will relocate.

Goodwin is moving to Santa Monica because many of their tech clients list the travel from the westside to other parts of Los Angeles is a legitimate deterrent for business deals. The move will open up a wide range of possibilities for clients from Hermosa to Santa Monica.

While Goodwin is moving in, other companies (like aforementioned HBO) are moving out of the coastal tech hub. One of the reasons companies are leaving is the price of rent in Silicon Beach as opposed to communities 5 or 10 miles away from the beach. As the city’s tech industry grows, so does the cost of office space.

According to a 2018 report by CBRE — which surveyed office rents in the top 30 tech markets across the U.S. and Canada — LA’s tech scene ranks second in overall market growth, with around 1.3 million square feet of space rented in the last five years. But as the need for space intensifies, the rent rises. The rent in Silicon Beach went up 16% between 2016 and 2017, with rent in Santa Monica alone rising 78% between 2011 and 2018. If you think moving to one of the other beautiful beaches would give your wallet some relief you would be wrong. Rent in Playa del Rey and other coastal communities neighboring Santa Monica and Venice sits at around $100 per square foot.

You may be wondering, “if rent is so high, why are startups still settling into Silicon Beach?” With breathtaking beaches, unlimited resources for tech startups and a right of passage that comes along with the location, it is still one of the top locations in the country for tech companies. 

Posted in Silicon Beach News
April 15, 2019

HBO's Big Move!

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons 



HBO is moving! The media giant has decided to leave its longtime home in Santa Monica for a five-story office building under construction on Venice Boulevard in Culver City.


What we know so far

News of the move recently shook Silicon beach, as the premium cable network has called Santa Monica home since 2004. HBO will move in 2021 and will be part of the Ivy Station mixed-use development, a $350-million project that will include apartments, restaurants, and shops.


It was recently announced that HBO would occupy all 240,000 square feet of office space in the complex. This is a huge development for the once quiet Culver City — which is experiencing massive growth as the home to Amazon Studios and numerous advertising and digital media shops.


Why Culver City?

Culver City has become a hot bed for entertainment over the last few years. Consisting of just over 5 square miles of land, the small but mighty community is rapidly growing. Last year, Amazon Studios moved into the historic city, and later decided to lease 75,000 square feet of office space at the new Culver Steps development.


According to Tom Wulf — executive vice president of Lowe, on of the Ivy Station Developers — HBO was attracted to the space because it has easy access to public transit, lodging, shops and restaurants.


According to the LA Times article, the network initially considered moving into a new Washington Boulevard office building near Culver City’s art gallery district, but Apple Inc. ended up leasing that space instead.


HBO’s Revamp

News of this move comes on the heels of HBO’s announcement of a major revamp. The media conglomerate is preparing to launch a streaming service later this year to compete with Apple, Netflix Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Walt Disney Co. The streaming service will showcase programming from HBO and other TV networks, including TBS and TNT, which now are owned by AT&T.


HBO plans to expand their programming now that their massive hit series “Game of Thrones” begins its final season. The marching orders to expand programming came from AT&T — the telecommunications giant that spent $85 billion to acquire Time Warner Inc. in 2018.


About Ivy Station

Ivy Station is envisioned as a roughly 500,000-square-foot campus of contemporary-style, mid-rise buildings. The space will feature 200 apartments, 50,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and restaurant space and a 148-room hotel. The brand of the hotel will be identified later, the developers said.


According to an article by the LA Times, the financial terms of HBO’s 15-year lease were not disclosed, but landlords in the area typically ask for about $4.50 a square foot a month, according to statistics compiled by real estate brokerage CBRE. Making monthly rent well over $1 Million. 

Posted in Silicon Beach News
April 11, 2019

Family Fun Easter Activities in Silicon Beach



Every year the communities in Silicon Beach pull out all the stops for family fun activities on Easter. From easter egg hunts and face painting to morning cruises with easter treats, we have listed our favorite local Easter activities that the entire family can enjoy! 




Annual Venice Beach Egg Hunt


Each year Venice Beach hosts a massive Easter egg hunt that attracts crowds from all over Silicon Beach. The egg hunt offers free candy for anyone under 11 years old and is broken down into four age groups so that the hunt is fair. The age groups consist of 2-3 year olds (10:30 am), 4-5 year olds (11:00 am), 6-8 year olds (11:30 am) and 9-11 year old (12:00 noon). The winners of each age group will also receive a prize! 


Simply bring your own Easter basket and a smile for your photo ops with Peter Cotton Tail.   The event will also feature face painting, a moon bounce, and a fire truck! 


The event is located at the Venice Recreation and Parks; 1800 Ocean Front Walk Venice, CA 90291. There is street parking as well as available spots at the South City Parking Lot (2100 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291).




Marina Del Rey Easter Brunch Cruise


If your kids are a little older and get more enjoyment out of a good instagram pic than they do an Easter egg hunt, then this might be the perfect way to spend the holiday. The gorgeous SoCal coastline is the perfect backdrop to any experience, but having your whole family together to celebrate makes it even better! 


The brunch features a generous buffet with classic breakfast goodies, holiday classics and chocolatey treats. For those 21+ there will be free-flowing Champagne to enjoy throughout the cruise. There is also live entertainment and even a visit from the Easter Bunny. 


Three cruises are offered throughout the day — 10:30 am, 11:00 am and 3:00 pm — all lasting 2 hours. For more information about tickets, pricing and menus click here! 




Santa Monica Easter Run 


Looking to work off that Easter dinner? Join the Santa Monica Easter Run and feel free to indulged in whatever your heart (and stomach) desire that evening. The runs offered include 5K, 10K, 15K and 1/2 Marathon. The course is simple, it will consist of counter clockwise loops around the beach path that will be marked. Fees to enter start at just $22.00! For more information click here! 

April 3, 2019

Cryptocurrency — Is it here to stay?






Cryptocurrency and bitcoin has taken over the world, but is it a bubble or is it here to stay? We did some research into this new trend and here is what we discovered. 

First things first: Crypto and Bitcoin are not the same


When people say crypto, the first thing most people think of is bitcoin, but you have to keep in mind that they are two different things. We’ve defined the two below:


Bitcoin: A type of digital currency in which a record of transactions is maintained and new units of currency are generated by the computational solution of mathematical problems, and which operates independently of a central bank.


Cryptocurrency: a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.


Essentially, bitcoin is one type of cryptocurrency that is widely used and known throughout the community. There are other coins out there— called AltCoins — including ZCas, Ethereum, Ripple, and LiteCoin. 




Bitcoin won’t last, but Cryptocurrency will 


Now that we've defined the difference between crypto and bitcoin, we can discuss Bitcoin's future in the US. In an article published by Inc, Yanev Suissa founder and general partner at SineWave Ventures, discusses what the future of Bitcoin could look like in our country. 


He points out that cryptocurrency as a whole won’t be going anywhere because it’s given people all of the world “much needed access to financial and economic transactions,” but bitcoin might be. According to Suissa, bitcoin is “most frequently billed as way to buck the banking system and remain beyond government control” which the US government is not in support of and stricter laws could threaten how we utilize bitcoins. 


For example, the SEC has issued warnings to the public about how some cryptocurrency trading and initial coin offerings (ICOs) might be in violation of the law, and that much of this activity is taking place without the standard protections for investors. In this unregulated environment, fraudsters have a long leash, the SEC said.


Quickly after the SEC issued these warnings, Facebook and Google banned cryptocurrency ads on their platforms that have not been thoroughly vetted by the SEC and Washington began discussing how the US is going to monitor the new technology. We don’t know what the future of cryptocurrency and bitcoin holds but we do know that the laws will soon catch up to the technology, and when that day comes the entire crypto ecosystem will change. 


March 28, 2019

Spring Cleaning Hacks for your Home




We are only a handful of days into Spring, but with the sun shining and the birds chirping we are starting to feel that Spring cleaning it. Whether you are planning a big spring move, or just want to get your place tidied up, it’s time to get rid of that winter clutter and dust! We’ve included a few of our favorite Spring cleaning hacks.





Buy some lemons!


Yup, we’re talking about the fruit. Before you start your big clean make sure you have a few lemons in the house. These can be used to freshen up some of the places you don’t usually think to clean, like the garbage disposal and stainless steel faucets. 


Garbage Disposal - Drop in a cut-up lemon, some salt, and a few ice cubes. This will help to clear away any unwanted odors that may have built up over time.


Stainless Steel Faucets - Simply chop the lemon in half and rub it on any stainless steel faucets to any remove hard water stains and rust. Plus, it’s all natural so you can feel good about using this method in the kitchen where your kids and pets eat. 




Also, have some white vinegar on hand! 


Vinegar has been a cleaning stable for generations! It was the all purpose cleaner before Lysol was popular, and it’s a lot safer for the family. Use vinegar to steam out the microwave, clean your coffee pot (we bet you use it daily but forget to clean out the built up grinds), and even shine your floors! 


Microwave - We use microwaves daily but they are one of the kitchen appliances that we rarely deep clean. That can mean a lot of stuck on food that has sat in the microwave for weeks without getting a proper clean. To remove old food stains from the inside of the microwave, fill a microwave-safe bowl with 1 to 2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Microwave the mixture for 5 minutes and then scrub down the inside with a sponge, that food should come right off!


Coffee Maker - Another household kitchen item we use daily but forget to clean out! For a safe and effective way to clean the inside of the coffee maker simply fill the reservoir with white distilled vinegar and run the coffee maker through a brewing cycle. Empty the carafe. Then, rinse away vinegar residue by running a full reservoir of water through the brewing cycle.


Floors - Get sparkly clean floors without using harsh chemicals by using a solution of ½ cup of white distilled vinegar to a half-gallon of warm water to mop your floors. Now you can feel good about your babies (and fur babies) scooting around on the floor! 


March 25, 2019

Save Time and Money with Smart Home Tech

Architecture, House, 3D, Design, Interior Design, Style

[image: https://pixabay.com/photos/architecture-house-3d-design-1477041/]


Save Time and Money with These Smart Home Technology Products


Anyone who owns a home has plenty of tasks to handle in a single day. Some are fairly simple, such as turning on the TV, adjusting the thermostat, and turning lights on or off when necessary. However, all these “easy” tasks can add up. Wouldn’t it be nice if your home could handle many of them for you?


That’s not a sci-fi dream. Recent tech innovations have resulted in smart homes that seemingly offer greater convenience than any house that’s come before. Nowadays, you can even control many of your household services and settings thanks to products from iOS and Android mobile app developers. Now you can lock your door, set an alarm, or DVR your favorite show all from your mobile device. As the following examples illustrate, the future may be a lot closer than you realize.


Smart HVAC Systems


Upgrading your HVAC system with smart technology is an easy way to begin adopting this tech on a larger scale. With smart thermostats, you can adjust the temperature remotely via a mobile app, integrate the thermostat with a voice assistant, and even enjoy the benefits of a thermostat that “learns” to adjust itself automatically according to your routine.


That’s just one component of a smart home’s HVAC system. You can also include such features as sensor-driven ventilation and air supply to boost your air quality and efficiency. This will also increase the value of your home if you plan on selling it in the future.


Smart Plumbing


It’s also possible to upgrade your plumbing with smart tech. For instance, few people like getting out of bed in the morning in the cold to turn on the shower when they could be spending a few more minutes warm in bed. That experience becomes a thing of the past with remote controls that allow users to turn on the shower and set water to their preferred temperature.


You can also use smart plumbing tech to conserve water and save money. With an on command pump, cold water that’s typically wasted when it flows down the drain is instead directed back to your water heater.


Smart leak detectors also help you avoid water damage and high plumbing bills, as they alert homeowners as soon as a leak is detected. Unlike older leak detectors, these can even alert homeowners remotely if they are away from the house. Install one in your home, and you’ll never have to worry about mysteriously steep water bills or returning from vacation to find your place flooded.


Smart Security


Want to protect your home as thoroughly as possible? If so, make the switch to a smart security system. These do a lot more than simply turn on a few outside lights at a predetermined time. When the sun goes down, a smart home security system can automatically give potential intruders the impression that someone is in the house by turning on lamps, lowering shutters, and even playing recordings of dogs barking. Of course, these systems also let you monitor your security cameras remotely.


This isn’t just about preventing crimes. For instance, perhaps you’ve also installed a smart home access system. Maybe a delivery driver arrives at your house when you’re not there to drop off a package. Your system will alert you via an app, you can check the camera to see who is at the door, and you can unlock it for them via your mobile phone if necessary.


Does that sound like science-fiction? A few years ago, it may have been. That’s no longer the case. Thanks to smart technology, owning a home has never been easier.


Guest Contributor - Rae Steinbach

Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course."


Twitter handle: @araesininthesun


Posted in Silicon Beach News
March 20, 2019

Long Beach — The Hottest New Area on the SOCAL Coastline




Long Beach, California is quickly becoming one of the hottest spots to buy real estate on the SOCAL coastline. From beach front views to amazing restaurants, shopping and activities, Long Beach is the go to place to buy right now. 




About Long Beach, CA


Tucked in along the waterfront centrally located to Los Angeles and Orange County, Long Beach is comprised of eight distinct neighborhoods including Downtown, Naples and Belmont Shore. Long Beach is an urban waterfront playground that features museums, aquariums, live music, great food and more! Below we break down some of our favorite things to do in Long Beach.




Queen Mary 


One of the most famous attractions in Long Beach is the Queen Mary, an elegant Cunard cruise liner that retired to life as a hotel in the 1960s. The ship is best known for its Art Deco interior, including wood paneling, glass inlays and other elegant design touches. 


Whether you come to visit the ship for a day or decide to spend the night, the ship is worth a visit! 






LA might have Venice but Long Beach has Naples. The upscale residential neighborhood has three canals that are so beautiful that you’d think you were transported Italy itself. The canals feature gondolas complete with gondoliers wearing black-and-white striped shirts just like they would in Italy. 


For a fun date night out check out Gondola Getaway — in addition to the ride, gondoliers give you a glass of wine to enjoy along the way.




Aquarium of the Pacific


If you thought that you’ve even to aquarium before, we can promise you have never experienced something quite like the Aquarium of the Pacific. It is a multilevel complex with some 11,000 marine life species and a specific focus on the Pacific Ocean.


The aquarium features the usual hands-on experiences as well as animals such as sea lions, sharks and colorful fish. But unlike other aquariums, it features there are photo exhibits (as well as contests), a movie screening room, summer and winter day camps for kids, a sea turtle rehabilitation center, periodic opportunities to feed animals such as penguins, and more. The Aquarium of the Pacific is a truly one of a kind experience. 






Long Beach isn’t just a quaint beach town, it also has a diverse art scene. The Museum of Latin American Art, aka MOLAA, is the only art museum dedicated exclusively to modern and contemporary work by Latin American artists in the United States. The museum might be small but don’t let that fool you, it's jam-packed with work in a variety of styles. While there, be sure to check out the museum's most beloved spot is the sculpture garden in the back (walk past the restrooms and down the hall to get there). You’ll feel like you stumbled upon a sunny Mexican hacienda, complete with cacti and native palms alongside abstract metal and clay sculptures.


March 14, 2019

The Hermosa Beach St. Patty's Day Parade


With the Hermosa Beach St. Patty’s Day parade just around the corner, Silicon Beach is a buzz with excited over the annual parade! The parade takes place on Saturday, March 16 at 11:00am! 



Each year, over 100 local businesses, schools and organizations take part in the seven-block parade down Pier Avenue. The parade features Irish themed festivities including bagpipers from the Emerald Society, floats, clydesdale horses and four-legged friends from the Irish Setters Club of Southern California.


The parade has become such a popular tradition in Hermosa Beach, that the parade draws about 20,000 spectators and participants each year. Bringing money to local shops, restaurants and businesses! 


The Route:

The parade begins at the staging area near City Hall on Valley Drive, makes a left onto Pier Avenue and ends at the corner of Hermosa Avenue and 10th Street.


In what has become a popular tradition in Hermosa Beach, the parade draws about 20,000 spectators and participants who come to enjoy the family affair as well as the great dining, shopping and beautiful beach weather that Hermosa Beach has to offer.


What’s New This Year?

The nearly 20,000 spectators will be treated for a few new and exciting things this year, including the Budweiser Clydesdales and an appearance made by the Dumbo Drone! 


The team of 8 Budweiser Clydesdale horses — known for their massive size and the silky, white “feathers” on the lower legs — will gallop down Pier Avenue. The bunch will pull the full Budweiser hitch, accompanied by their familiar companions, two Dalmatian dogs.


One of the most exciting new additions is the The Dumbo Drone, which organizers are hoping to gain approval for in the coming days. The Dumbo Drone is a high-flying replica of the lead character from Disney’s live action/animated hybrid movie premiering on March 29. Parade organizer Michael Bell said his team is awaiting permits from the Hermosa Beach Police and the FAA for the elephant airship.


The parade will also feature an ice cream truck with free treats sponsored by Kinecta Federal Credit Union, and an appearance from veteran sportscaster Mark Willard.


Flogging Molly’s Concert

There are few bands more who are more appropriate to play at a St. Patty’s Day celebration than Flogging Molly. The Irish punk-rock band will be taking over the Hollywood Palladium on Sunset Blvd. in L.A. on March 17. Our pro tip: Spend all day Saturday in Hermosa Beach enjoying the festivities then pop over to Sunset Blvd on Sunday to enjoy the block party!

March 6, 2019

Best Surf Schools in Silicon Beach





Looking to learn how to surf but not quite sure where to start? Well we have you covered! Look no further because we’ve compiled of our favorite places to learn how to catch a few waves in Silicon Beach. 




Kapowui Surf Club


Kapowui has been awarded the best surf school in Venice beach for the last 5 years in a row, making it one of our top choices on the list. This family run business is a SoCal icon that has operated for the last decade. 


Kapowui offers beginner lessons all year long from 6:00am to 4:00pm. Kapowui provides the surfboard, wetsuit and instructor, all you have to do is show up! Lessons take place on the boarder of Venice and Santa Monica — an area with some of the safest surfs around making it perfect for beginners. Choose from 1 hour, 1 1/2 hour and 2 hour lessons with the first 30 minute spent on the beach learning safety and technique and the remaining time spent in the water. 


Beginner lessons start at $90, but you can find that full list of prices and services here!




Aloha Brothers Surf Lessons 


Aloha Brothers was founded in Hawaii and has since made its way over to the main land with shops in Southern California. With over 700 Five-Star ratings, this is one of the top surf schools in Venice Beach! 


Aloha Brothers offers lessons for those of all skill sets starting at just $85 per lesson. All lessons last for 90 minutes and boards and wetsuits are provided by Aloha Brothers. For more information about pricing and to book a class click here! 




Fun Surf LA


Fun Surf School provides top-notch surf classes to Southern Californians. The school provides lessons and rentals on Venice and Marina del Rey beaches, putting it right in the center of Silicon Beach. 


Fun Surf LA offers classes that last anywhere from 90 to 120 minutes, with the first 30 minutes consisting of a safety and technique course on land, and the remaining time spent out on the water. Fun Surf LA is easily the most economical of the schools listed, with group classes starting at $45 per person — perfect for a family or group of friends! Semi-private and private lessons are also offered. 


You can book your day with Fun Surf LA here! 


Feb. 27, 2019

Commercial Real Estate in Silicon Beach - Is it just as lucrative as Residential?


Silicon Beach is quickly becoming a hub for commercial real estate. From Snapchat to Google, tech giants have decided to make Silicon Beach their home, but is buying commercial real estate just as lucrative as residential? We're breaking down the pros and cons to buying commercial real estate.


What is commercial real estate?

For those of you who don’t know, commercial real estate are properties bought specifically for use of business in Silicon Beach. These properties could include retail space, office buildings, warehouses, industrial building, apartment buildings and mixed use spaces. 


Pros of investing in commercial real estate. 


Income potential. Income potential is the biggest reason why people invest in commercial real estate. Commercial properties generally have an annual return off the purchase price between 6% and 12%, (in popular locations like Silicon Beach we see closer to 12% return). This is a much higher range than typically exists for single family home properties that generally give you between 1% and 4% at best. 


Limited hours of operation. Ask any homeowner and they will tell you that the work never stops. Thankfully, when you buy a commercial property, barring any emergency calls at night for break-ins or fire alarms, you stop working when the businesses stop working. That means depending on your commercial property, you’ll get nights, major holidays and weekends off from worrying about your commercial real estate.


Cons of investing in commercial real estate


Professional help required. If you are a jack of all trades and a do-it-yourselfer then having a commercial property might be more stressful to you than its worth. More than likely than not you won't be entirely qualified or prepared to handle some of the maintenance issues yourself, so you’ll have to hire someone to do all of the things you can't. This extra cost isn't always ideal, but it’s something to consider when putting money aside to buy your property. 


Bigger initial investment. Commercial properties typically are pricier and require more money upfront than residential properties. And unfortunately, the down payment is just one of the large initial expenses. You will likely have to renovate or repair parts of the property, decorate common spaces and keep money aside for any unexpected maintenance issues that pop up. Unlike residential properties, when you own a commercial property someone is relying on your time and money for their livelihood — which means higher stakes and higher stress. 

Posted in Silicon Beach News