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Old 07-10-2008, 07:20 AM
10 posts, read 38,760 times
Reputation: 23


Hi all,

I'm moving from Washington, DC in the next few months to setup a brand new office for my IT company. I was wondering if anyone could give me their thoughts about an affordable, livable place to setup office and consequently, home.

I'm headed out to LA in a few days to meet with some of our existing clients out there and to look for office space. Obviously, where we get office space will also factor into where I want to live. I'm pretty familiar with the LA area as I visit quite often, but more so the West Side than the rest of LA/LA County.

I'm looking for office space that is not ridiculously expensive and somewhat small, enough to accommodate 5+ people and a server room. One of my coworkers has already started the office search process on my behalf (he's more senior than me so has more say), and he wants me to take a look in Pasadena and the surrounding area because we have some clients already out that way. I'm just not so sure I want to live out there quite yet as I fear it may be too quiet/suburban over there for my taste.

A little background on myself. I'm 30, single male, make over 100k, and I keep a very active lifestyle. I currently pay 2k a month for my place in DC and I'd really like to pay a few hundred less than that if possible so I can actually save some money. I currently lived in a partially gentrified neighborhood in DC and I've lived in rougher parts, so I'd consider myself more "street smart" than the average person.

I've been heavily involved with the music and arts scene in DC, and I'd like a fresh start on that in LA if possible. Done the band and DJ thing, but mostly these days I just like to have drinks, dance, listen to music (indie, new wave, brit pop, garage, 60s, etc). Obviously I don't need this stuff down the street from me (it is right now), but I like to live in areas that are more liberal with lots of culture, interesting places, life, and not just strip mall suburbia. I'm also an outdoor lover and love to walk whenever I can. I don't plan on getting married or having kids anytime soon so that is not a factor. Finally, I should mention I love the beach and used to surf when I was a teenager so I'd like to get more into that again.

My company has ultimately tasked me with finding a place to live and work. One of the problems is that our clients are all over LA and Orange Counties, so no matter what, I don't think I can ever find a place close when we have to go on-site. Right now, most of our business is towards the Valley or Pasadena.

Areas that I've been interested in to live:
-Santa Monica - Lots of IT companies but office space seems like it would be $$$
-West Hollywood - Loved visiting, have family/people I know over there, but seems like $$$ for an Office. I might also be more bored after awhile with the night life as I sometimes feel I'd rather be closer to the beach. I do like a good selection of places to eat though. I lived in very gay areas in DC and I actually find that a bonus even though I'm straight as I've always thought my gay friends were great neighbors.
-Miracle Mile - Accessible to other parts, maybe cheaper rents than WeHo in some streets?
-Westwood - Not sure I want to deal with the college kids, but read good things about it on here.
-Redondo Beach - Doubt I could swing an office, but if the office was in a surrounding city that could work. I love most beach cities.
-Hermosa Beach - Same as above.
-Long Beach - Not sold on it for living, but like to visit.
-Manhattan Beach - If I can find an affordable place, maybe. Again, an office is probably a pipe dream.
-El Segundo - Seems like the best bet for offices. I have friends who work here, and it's accessible from some of my other locations. I don't think I would want to live here.

Thoughts anyone? Thanks and looking forward to the move, but of course not all the stress.
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Old 07-10-2008, 11:48 AM
167 posts, read 443,648 times
Reputation: 91
I think you're pretty spot-on with your assessment of those areas. I couldn't tell you much more than what you already know. I'm not familiar with what it takes to run an IT company, but my impression is you don't have clients going into your office a lot, and that you go on-site or do business long-distance/over the net. If that's the case, then I think you're good to set up pretty much anywhere. If you say most of your business is in the Valley and Pasadena, why not set up there? They may seem far to the beach, where you want to be close to, but believe me, after living here for a couple of years, it will seem like right next door compared to further-lying areas.

In terms of rent, obviously, there are places that are cheaper/more expensive, but if your rent range is $1500-2000, you should be able to find a pad in any of those areas.

As for things to do, both business and leisure, one of the things you'll have to get used to when moving here from the East is commuting. You'll be doing a lot of driving. A lot. It's just part of the lifestyle. No matter where you end up setting shop and home, you'll probably end up having to drive one direction for business meetings, another for your music scene, another for the outdoors, and another for the beach. I don't know of anyone who just couldn't adapt to that (though I'm sure they're out there). You'll get used to it because everyone else, all your friends and business associates, are doing the same thing. So I wouldn't worry about where exactly too much.
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