Yahoo Inc. is moving its Santa Monica operations to Playa Vista, joining the droves of major tech companies that have opened up offices in the thriving West L.A. neighborhood.
The Sunnyvale, Calif., company signed a long-term lease for about 130,000 square feet at the Collective Campus in Playa Vista. The move will bring at least 400 jobs from its current location in Santa Monica, with space to accommodate growth.
"We worked hard to identify the right office situation for Yahoo in Southern California to better match our space and collaboration needs," Yahoo Chief Financial Officer Ken Goldman said in a statement. "While we have always had a presence in Southern California, working out of the city of Los Angeles is a priority for us now more than ever."
Goldman said the company chose Playa Vista because of its "access to talent" as well as the culture of the area. The move is scheduled to happen in the fall.
Yahoo is just the latest company to join the burgeoning tech hub in Playa Vista.
Microsoft Corp. opened a roughly 20,000-square-foot space in Playa Vista in 2013 to house 130 employees who had previously been in downtown L.A. Facebook Inc. has operations nearby. The neighborhood boasts the headquarters of online advertising platform Rubicon Project, consumer electronics and accessories maker Belkin International and ICANN, the nonprofit organization that is responsible for assigning Internet domains.
Playa Vista is also home to USC's Institute for Creative Technologies, which has attracted several top virtual reality researchers. The institute is where Oculus Rift founder Palmer Luckey once worked as a designer.
And in the biggest announcement yet, Google last month spent nearly $120 million on 12 vacant acres next to a historic hangar where aviator Howard Hughes built his famous "Spruce Goose" airplane in the Playa Vista neighborhood near Marina del Rey. The land is zoned for nearly 900,000 square feet of commercial space that could house offices or studios, vastly more room than Google now occupies in a handful of buildings in Los Angeles County.
Google is also expected to lease the Hughes hangar built in 1943. The 319,000-square-foot building has recently housed sound stages for movie and television production.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has been aggressively pushing to make L.A. a tech power player. His Office of Economic Development worked closely with Yahoo to encourage the company to make the move.
"I'm proud that Yahoo is moving to Los Angeles and sending a strong message to the business community that our city is where the next big thing is going to be," Garcetti said. "This move proves that L.A. is accelerating as a center of technology and entertainment."
The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. recently released a report showing that the area's local tech sector is thriving, with more high-tech jobs (368,600) than Boston-Cambridge, Santa Clara County and New York City.
The report also showed that the direct high-tech workforce generated $32 billion in wages in 2013, accounting for 16.8% of all wages paid in L.A. County.