The legendary parcel of land that once gave rise to Howard Hughes’ aerospace empire is undergoing a transformation into ‘Runway,’ a large-scale mixed-use center that will offer unique shopping, dining, entertainment and living space in the heart of the Playa Vista community.
The development team, led by Lincoln Property Company, Phoenix Property Company and Paragon Commercial Group, has begun construction on the long-anticipated lifestyle center that will soon connect the Phase I residential community and the Campus at Playa Vista.
Aided by a new $150 million construction loan through a syndicate of banks led by Bank of America, the development team recently broke ground on the project that will include 221,000 square feet of retail, 420 apartments and 35,000 square feet of office space spread across three separate 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,” said David Binswanger, Executive Vice President of Lincoln Property Company. “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.”
Several of the nation’s top brands have already signed on to be a part of the action at Runway. Upscale grocer Whole Foods will move into a 35,755 square-foot space adjacent to McConnell Avenue, on the retail center’s ground level. The grocery store will be a first of its kind in Playa Vista, with well-stocked aisles of organic produce, grass-fed beef, a natural juice bar and a wide assortment of supplements for healthy eating. Down the street, the Cinemark multiplex at Runway will feature nine screens in over 46,000 square feet and the company’s NextGen design concept with RealD 3D capability, self-serve concession stands and an open plaza with a cocktail lounge.
Shoppers can also expect to find a CVS Pharmacy, Veggie Grill and a national bank branch at Runway. In all, these retailers 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,” said 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 play a large role in the vibrant, yet relaxing atmosphere at Runway. The retail complex, designed by Johnson Fain, will feature wide sidewalks for outdoor dining, soothing water features, communal seating areas, firepits 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 lounge that anchors the center and serves as Runway’s central meeting place.
For those who want to be close to the action, Runway will offer office space and a variety of residences that sit above the first-floor retail. The apartment homes at Runway will range from studios to two-level, two-bedroom units with large windows, balconies and articulating walls. Residents will also have the benefit of an 8,000 square-foot club house, as well as roof-top terraces and dedicated parking.
In addition to the Runway project, The Village at Playa Vista will contain a total of 2,600 residential units, 200 units of senior/assisted living, 50,000 square feet of office space, 40,000 square feet of community serving space, 11.5 acres of parks, and another 12 acres of open space. All of the 221,000 square feet of retail space in The Village will be contained within Runway.
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 leading ad agencies Chiat/Day and Deutsch, socially conscious manufacturers like Tom’s Shoes, and legendary Hercules Studio—the film stage for Avatar and Iron Man 3.