Designers and developers are desperate to give LA’s moneyed new tech workers whatever craziness they want
The tech boom that brought Los Angeles Silicon Beach is pushing some significant changes in neighborhoods where those wealthy newish tech arrivals like to live. Shacks in SB-adjacent ‘hoods sometimes list for more than a million dollars and still get above asking, and many neighborhoods are transforming (for better or worse) into places where a person can get fresh pressed juice and a meal of raw food after their yoga class.
All these monied folks looking for places to call home has created a stampede of “developers, architects and interior designers rushing in to decipher and deploy tech execs’ specialized home requirements,” like Edison bulbs, houses wired for fast internet, and a couldn’t-care-less attitude about parking, says The Hollywood Reporter. Here’s what they’ve discovered that tech money crowd is after:
—The “‘beard and flannel’ tech brigade,” as designer Kim Gordon called them, often hail from Northern California, and so elements that evoke “woods and warmth make them instantly feel at home.”
—They also, of course, need fast internet. A new development in Playa Vista, Marlowe, has set its $2- and $3-million houses up with “category 6 data wire for phone lines and high-speed data connection in all bedrooms, the kitchen, the great room and family room.”
—These walking flannels and beards are not huge fans of driving and don’t even care about parking! Totally weird. One real estate agent who works with tech folk says: “These are people who want to live near work, so they can bike there or walk or whatever.” (They probably aren’t taking public transit, though.) A lot of his clients “don’t even care about things like parking…In some ways, tech home buyers are the opposite of normal.”
—”The kids here don’t want that crappy Cape Cod style you get in the Palisades,” says architect Robert Thibodeau. Instead, they’re after “contemporary design with that organic feeling, like Edison lights.”
—Tech people are still edgy, and “are interested in building on a storied history of surf and skate culture,” says interior designer Jaime Bush. They also have tons of money to drop on achieving a “casual beach culture vibe.” Nothing says surf bum like an $11,000 chair made of rope and steel and outfitted with a shearling seat.
—Another interior designer, Peter Dunham, has clients who definitely have a toned-down, vaguely hippie part of them that wants “vegetable gardens, as well as deformalized room layout and open kitchen/living rooms,” but who also indulge their inner party animal/serious entertainer, demanding “Pimped-out wine rooms