By Roger Vincent
El Segundo's transformation from aerospace bastion and oil town to hub for creative businesses remains in high gear as a renovated 1970s office building hits the market with half of its space already committed to tenants.
Irvine developer Bixby Land Co. spent $25 million on a makeover of a five-story office building at 2101 El Segundo Blvd.
The design by Shubin + Donaldson Architects created an indoor-outdoor lobby lounge area with a bar and fire pit. Bixby is also negotiating with a ground-floor restaurant tenant that will also operate the lobby bar.
"We set out to develop a unique work environment that feels as much like coming home as going to work," said Bill Halford, chief executive of Bixby Land.
Bixby has signed leases with tenants including advertising data provider Exponential Interactive, investment management firm Cove Street Capital and design firm AMA Consulting Engineers.
As is now common in offices for tenants in creative businesses, the 114,176-square-foot building has polished concrete floors and exposed ceilings.
Tenants are allowed to bring their dogs to work, and the building provides beach cruiser bicycles for tenants' use.
Long a stronghold of aerospace and defense businesses, El Segundo is an emerging market for technology, media and entertainment companies.
The city and nearby Playa Vista boast cheaper rents than Santa Monica and other Westside neighborhoods popular with growing tech firms.