Developer to Start Update on Playa Vista Retail Center

The seaside neighborhood of Playa Vista, not far from Los Angeles International Airport, is the new home of tech giants Google and Facebook, which recently opened big offices there.

Now, DJM Capital Partners, Inc. wants to make sure that high-end retail is there for the tech crowd.

The developer of such mixed-use retail centers including Bella Terra and Pacific City in Huntington Beach, Calif., as well as Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach, Calif., will embark on a $9.1 million redevelopment of mostly around one acre of the Runway Playa Vista, which is a mixed-use center described as Playa Vista’s living room.

Groundbreaking is scheduled for May 9, and the project will wrap up by the end of this year, said Stenn Parton, DJM’s chief retail officer.

The 14-acre mixed-use development currently features neighborhood-style tenants, including a Cinemark movie house, a CVS Pharmacy, a Whole Foods grocery store, a Chase bank, 30,000 square feet of medical offices and an urgent care run by Cedars-Sinai. DJM will redevelop the area into a more pedestrian-friendly atmosphere with more than 50 shops and restaurants, Parton said.

“The question is, How do you make it feel more intimate? How do you make a community-focused space that will be the living room of Playa Vista?” Parton asked. A Los Angeles architecture firm, with the humorous name Design, Bitches, got the job of making the plans for the redesign, which will include bringing more public art and improving signage.

The redevelopment will emphasize pedestrian walkways and parklike public spaces. Auto traffic will be diverted from the development’s Town Center Drive to surrounding streets such as McConnell Avenue, West Jefferson Boulevard and Village Drive.

Invesco Real Estate purchased Runway for $475 million in 2016, according to the Los Angeles Times. In 2018, DJM assumed the jobs of property development, construction, leasing, marketing and branding for the development. A coworking space that includes the child-care center Brella is scheduled to open by fall.

Montreal-headquartered activewear retailer Lolë Apparel opened a boutique at Runway earlier this month. Steakhouse restaurant Bull & Butterfly is scheduled to open this fall, and in November the new concept Free Market is scheduled to take a bow.

The 20,000-square-foot anchor will offer pop-up shops for direct-to-consumer brands and environments for established retailers as well as food carts and events spaces.

Free Market was co-founded by Raan Parton and his wife, Lindsay Parton. Raan Parton co-founded the Los Angeles clothing brand Apolis. In 2013 Raan and Lindsay Parton co-founded Alchemy Works, which sells home décor, accessories and clothing at one location in the Arts District of Los Angeles and another location at Lido Marina Village.

Stenn Parton said his brother and sister-in-law’s anchor space will enhance the Runway project. “There are common threads between lessons learned with Apolis and Alchemy Works,” he said.