Santa Monica, AKA Silicon Beach
We have all heard of Silicon Valley in San Francisco, and more recently, the Silicon Roundabout - London’s answer to the technology hub - but it doesn’t stop there. Santa Monica in California, is fast becoming a new technology fuelled centre, dubbed Silicon Beach by the companies who work there.
During the 1980’s-1990’s, Santa Monica saw a technology industry boom, which was very short-lived due to the uncertain future of the internet. However, it seems that creative, entertainment, and technology based companies are once again flocking back to their beach side offices, to revive the converted industrial buildings.
The notion that creative industries work hand in hand with the laid back, beach environment that Santa Monica offers is certainly becoming clear. The area also has a sophisticated vibe due to the restaurants, bars and retail stores located nearby – another big selling point for businesses.
Technology companies, and those within similar sectors such as design and advertising, want to be close to one another, not just in terms of networking, but for the social benefits too. It’s thought that Santa Monica as a whole has become a safer, friendlier neighbourhood, thus attracting a showbiz crowd, and a real sense of community.
Research suggests that Santa Monica’s office vacancy rate is a mere 4% – a fraction of the county and state average, which is somewhat surprising, as rental rates can be as high as $6 per square foot, which is nearly twice as much as downtown Los Angeles.
Neighbouring areas such as El Segundo, Playa Vista and Culver City are also thought to be a technology companies’ dream, but renting office space in Santa Monica currently provides a reputation that proceeds them all.
Silicon Beach continues to develop a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem, and is witnessing a steady rise in terms of technology company formation. Whether its the sea air or the laid back lifestyle, its certainly attracting big names in the industry – including Google – so watch this space.