Tour the Corridor: New Site in Bioscience Hub

Agora Partners & ASG Real Estate close on property in LA Bioscience Corridor 

Opportunities Abound

With a site-driven mindset, Agora Partners and ASG Real Estate recognized the potential of a 22,000 square foot warehouse building on the Alhambra Avenue corridor, in the northeast Los Angeles neighborhood of El Sereno. Located within the boundary of the Los Angeles Bioscience Corridor, and across the street from a popular independent community coffee and arts spot, the space is primed for adaptive reuse of the 80-year-old former furniture factory and warehouse.

Closing on the purchase of the warehouse and adjacent 5,000 square foot lot contributes to the burgeoning LA Bioscience Hub, which supports the development and growth of bioscience-related research, development and manufacturing enterprises.

The re-imagined double bow truss, high-ceiling space will become a home for emerging bioscience and tech companies seeking modern, flexible workspaces. 

What's the LA Bioscience Corridor?

With support from the City and County of Los Angeles, the decade-long vision of the Los Angeles Bioscience Hub (LABH) was established in 2014 to promote the resources—space, network, community—needed for startups and early-stage companies to stay in LA, instead of leaving for other California science and tech communities.

LA Bioscience Corridor Alhambra Ave

The LA Bioscience Corridor weaves together key anchor institutions and companies within a 4-mile stretch of Northeast Los Angeles. The corridor runs along Valley Boulevard and Alhambra Avenue just east of Downtown LA. It starts at the intersection of the 5 and the 10 freeways, with two major anchors, LA County General Hospital and USC Health Sciences Campus, then continues northeast to include Cal State LA and BioSpaceLA (future LA County/Cal State LA Incubator). At the easternmost point, the corridor is bound by the U.S. headquarters for Grifols, an international pharmaceutical company, and the 710 freeway. 

Opportunistic Investments

Agora Partners is a real estate development and investment firm specializing in identifying and creating value-add opportunities in urban environments throughout Southern California. ASG Real Estate Inc. ® is a full service investment brokerage and equity firm focused on urban repositioning real estate projects throughout California. As a partnership, Agora and ASG Real Estate focus on neighborhood-scale opportunistic investments by employing creative real estate tools and techniques to leverage neighborhood improvement strategies, unlock value, and improve local quality of life. Such as the site in El Sereno, the team evaluated the context of the Alhambra Avenue corridor and the surrounding residential neighborhood to determine the best uses for the properties.

Keep an eye out for future updates throughout our redevelopment process.

Co-living Spaces: A Solution for Tech Housing?

Co-working spaces are the offices of the future. Co-living spaces may be soon to follow.

Over the course of a few years, co-working spaces quickly caught on and popped up in cities across the country. Instead of sitting alone at a coffee shop working on a startup or freelancing, people could rent an actual desk in an office environment and socialize with people in similar positions. Now with the emergence of co-living, residents can rent a one-bedroom unit, or a bedroom in a multi-bedroom unit, but still be surrounded by people and entertaining amenities.

Examples of Co-living environments in New York. (Brian Harkin, New York Times)

Examples of Co-living environments in New York. (Brian Harkin, New York Times)

While co-working spaces offer a more progressive and relaxed office setting, co-living spaces have created a community within a building. Although the thought harkens back to freshman year of college—small, furnished dorm-style rooms with communal spaces—these micro-units have been upgraded to meet the lifestyles of their Millennial clientele.

The Atlantic recently covered the story on the new “Commonspace,” a co-living space in Syracuse, NY (read here). Atop a co-work space, Troy Evans and John Talarico are developing 21 furnished micro-units equipped with a kitchenette, bathroom, bedroom and living space fit into 300 square feet. Additionally, the common areas include a chef’s kitchen, a game room, a TV room, wifi access, a rooftop deck, bike-sharing and storage; not to mention the social events hosted through a third-party “social engineer.”

Co-living spaces are not a new idea, and in many ways heavily resemble student-oriented apartments built over the past decade. There is Pure House in Brooklyn and short-term living for entrepreneurs at Krash with locations in NYC, D.C. and Boston. Even WeWork is expanding into the residential sector and creating WeLive spaces. The concept, amenities and community associated with co-living spaces are in high demand (and have waiting lists).

A Hacker Home in Mountain View, CA (Jim Wilson/The New York Times/Redux)  

A Hacker Home in Mountain View, CA (Jim Wilson/The New York Times/Redux)  

These living situations can provide strategic solutions to areas with extremely high density facing housing shortages, such as San Francisco. SF has their own unofficial version of co-living spaces, called “hacker homes,” where techies are crammed into bunkbeds in a Victorian renting at $1,800 per person. However, these set ups sadly do resemble the unappealing aspects of freshmen dorms—and still with a high price tag. 

 

As we all know, tech companies played a heavy hand in attracting talent to the Bay Area. This resulted in increased demand for housing, which, in turn, contributed to skyrocketing prices and an ongoing housing shortage. Implemented correctly, the development or renovation of “official” co-living single units (no more bunk beds) could be a solution to the housing constraints in the 7x7mile SF bubble.

Now the question is should tech companies—whether for social responsibility or for employee recruitment and retention, or both—help finance co-living alternatives for their army of young techies? The tech giants are already halfway there: the working environments at Facebook, Google, et al already mirror the essence of co-living residences. Just add beds and a door, and you’re set.