EQ Office, the Chicago-based real estate firm founded by Sam Zell, has unveiled plans to rebrand and reposition a landmark office complex in Westchester.
The Howard Hughes Center, which features 1.3 million square feet of office space overlooking the San Diego Freeway, is being renamed as the "Playa District" - alluding to the nearby tech hub of Playa Vista. Though the campus-like property is already home to notable tenants including Pepperdine University, Gamefly, and Sony, EQ Office intends to lure dozens of additional businesses and thousand more employees through an expansive renovation to the Playa District's six buildings and shared spaces.
The improvements, which are being designed by Rios Clementi Hale Studios, include both aesthetic and functional upgrades. Plans call for a redesign of building common areas and the property's central plaza - inspired by the "coastal Southern California lifestyle" - as well as the addition of new amenities such as a fitness center, a conference center, and even a pickle ball court.
EQ Office has also taken the unique step of collaborator with co-working firm Industrious, which will directly manage between 100,000 and 140,000 square feet of flex office suites in the Playa District, and will also be responsible for activating ground-floor spaces across the campus.
The improvements are expected to be completed in March 2019.
EQ Office's project follows a slew of new construction at properties which surround the office campus.
Across the street from the Playa District, a $30-million renovation of the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center shopping mall is now in progress.
Equity Residential, which was also founded by Sam Zell, completed a 545-unit apartment complex adjacent to the Playa District in 2016, and Mill Creek Residential Trust soon followed with a 376-unit development known as Modera West L.A.
Across Sepulveda Boulevard, developers Sandstone Properties and Hanover Company are both planning multifamily residential projects to replace a small office building and a self-storage facility, respectively.
- Westchester Archive (Urbanize LA)