Playa Vista is a neighborhood located in the Westside of the City of Los Angeles, California, United States, north of LAX. Prior to the development of Playa Vista, the area was the headquarters of Hughes Aircraft Company from 1941 to 1985 and was the site of the construction of the Hughes H-4 Hercules “Spruce Goose” aircraft. The area began development in 2002 as a planned community with residential, commercial, and retail components. The community has become a choice address for businesses in technology, media and entertainment and, along with Santa Monica and Venice, has become known as Silicon Beach.
The Tongva Native Americans once inhabited the location now occupied by Playa Vista. There was a Tongvan sacred burial site located here: “about 1,000 Native American remains had been exhumed during construction,” grave sites that were deemed sacred by the Tongva people. The remains were discovered after construction had begun. In 2008, the remains “were laid to rest and covered with white seashells during a sacred burial ceremony near the Westchester bluffs. In addition, “Playa Vista plans to complete a museum dubbed the Discovery Center to educate people about the Ballona wetlands and the Gabrieliño-Tongva tribe. It is expected to be completed at the end of .”
Prior to its development as headquarters for Hughes Aircraft Company, much of the land occupied by Playa Vista was a wetland connected with a large salt-marsh in what is now Marina Del Rey. These wetlands were formerly part of the larger Ballona Creek watershed that occupied these areas along with what is now Playa Del Rey, and much of Venice, Los Angeles.
In the 1940s, the aviator Howard Hughes bought the site and constructed a private airfield runway, named Hughes Airport, and an aircraft factory with large hangars for his Hughes Aircraft Company production. The famous Spruce Goose (Hughes H-4 Hercules plane), with the largest wingspan and height of any aircraft in history, was built in the hangar and then transported to Long Beach Harbor for its only flight in 1947.
During the late 1990s, DreamWorks failed in its attempt to build a studio in Playa Vista.
Phase One of Playa Vista began in 2001 as “a mix of affordable and luxury housing, office and commercial space and open spaces and recreational amenities, all set next to restored wetlands and wildlife preserve.” In October, Steve Soboroff was named the president of Playa Vista.
It was one of “six communities in the nation selected by President Bill Clinton in 1998 as a National Pilot Project of the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH).” As such it is, “one of the most technologically advanced communities ever planned” and is “fully connected via telecommunications and broadband capabilities.”
The boundaries of the currently developed portion are approximately Lincoln Boulevard and the Ballona Wetlands on the west, Ballona Creek on the north, Centinela Avenue on the east, and the Del Rey Hills bluffs (Westchester Bluffs) on the south. Playa Vista is bordered by the unincorporated enclave of Marina Del Rey to the northwest, by the community of Playa del Rey to the southwest, by Loyola Marymount University and the upland part of Westchester to the southwest, south, east and southeast, and by the Del Rey district to the northwest.
According to the Mapping L.A. project of the Los Angeles Times, Playa Vista is adjoined on the northwest by Del Rey, on the north and east by Culver City, on the southeast by Westchester and on the west by Marina Del Rey.
Street and other boundaries are: Ballona Creek or the Marina Freeway on the northwest and north, the Culver City boundary on the northeast, Bluff Creek Drive or the boundary between Rancho Ballona and Rancho Sausal Redondo on the southeast, followed by Teale Street and Cabora Drive, westerly and unmarked, to include the Ballona Wetlands on the southwest.
Relation of Playa Vista to nearby places, not necessarily contiguous.