Playa Vista, Calif. — The legendary parcel of land that once gave rise to Howard Hughes' aerospace empire is undergoing a $260 million transformation into Runway, a large-scale, mixed-use property located in the Playa Vista community, a neighborhood in Los Angeles. The development team, led by Lincoln Property Co., Phoenix Property Co. and Paragon Commercial Group, has begun construction on the project, which will include shopping, dining, entertainment and living space.
Aided by a new $150 million construction loan through a syndicate of banks led by Bank of America, the project will include 221,000 square feet of retail, 420 apartments and 35,000 square feet of office space spread across three buildings. Construction is expected to last less than two years, with tenants opening their doors before the holiday shopping season in 2014.
"This project has been a long time coming, so we are excited to be moving to the next stage in the development process and to be that much closer to injecting more energy into this already vibrant community," says David Binswanger, executive vice president of Dallas-based Lincoln Property Co. "We want Runway to be at the forefront of everything new in the worlds of fashion, art, design and technology and to be a real center of the community where people come to shop, eat and to just relax."
A lantern-shaped tower with a steel mesh exterior and dramatic lighting will house a central lanai (porch) lounge that anchors the center.
Upscale grocer Whole Foods will move into a 35,755-square-foot space adjacent to McConnell Avenue, on the retail center’s ground level. Down the street, the 46,000-square-foot Cinemark multiplex at Runway will feature nine screens, self-serve concession stands and an open plaza with a cocktail lounge. Other tenants which have signed on include a CVS/pharmacy, Veggie Grill and a national bank branch, which will occupy approximately 100,000 square feet of space.
“We are pleased to see such early interest from a great group of top national retailers. The fact that we are signing best-in-class tenants in every category we are pursuing is a testament to our vision for Runway,” says Mark Harrigian, principal of Paragon Commercial Group. “When complete, Runway will be brimming with chef-driven restaurants and a unique mix of retailers offering anything from upscale couture to California lifestyle and beach-chic fashions.”
The architectural design will also play a part in the atmosphere at Runway. The retail complex, designed by Johnson Fain, will feature wide sidewalks for outdoor dining, communal seating areas, fire pits and a direct connection to Playa Vista’s Linear Park. A lantern-shaped tower with a steel mesh exterior and dramatic lighting will house a central lanai (porch) lounge that anchors the center and serves as Runway’s central meeting place.
The apartment homes at Runway will range from studios to two-level, two-bedroom units with large windows and balconies. The multifamily community will also include an 8,000-square-foot clubhouse, as well as rooftop terraces and dedicated parking. Rents for the apartments have not been announced.
Playa Vista and nearby areas are home to growing technology, Internet and entertainment companies, including Facebook, YouTube, Electronic Arts, Sony, Fox Sports and Belkin, as well as socially conscious manufacturers Tom’s Shoes and Hercules Studio — the film stage for Avatar and Iron Man 3.
— Rachel Goff