Playa Vista Turning Into Silicon Valley South As Tech Firms Move In

First came Facebook and YouTube. Then Microsoft moved in. Google is on its way. And now Yahoo, too, is joining the high-tech cluster that has sprouted in Playa Vista.

The burgeoning Westside neighborhood is fast becoming the Southern California hub of Silicon Valley, with a growing number of tech companies choosing the relatively undeveloped area as their gateway to the region’s entertainment and media offerings. As digital entertainment takes off, tech companies say close ties with Hollywood are more important than ever.

Centering tech’s biggest players in one Southland spot is bringing a cohesion to the L.A. tech scene that entrepreneurs had long worried wouldn’t be attainable in the sprawling metropolis.

It’s also fueling rapid change to the self-contained neighborhood of more than 6,500 residents. Already, new housing and office complexes, restaurants and co-working spaces have opened, and more developments ? including an 11-acre retail, residential and office center ? are underway.

Tech firms point to a number of reasons for opening outposts in Playa Vista. At first, proximity played a major role: The neighborhood is close to major freeways, the beach andLos Angeles International Airport. Moreover, there were vast expanses of land yet to be developed, a rarity in Southern California and a boon for enormous tech companies anticipating future workforce growth.

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