Why Venice Beach is Becoming the New Hollywood

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Image: fineartamerica.com

Venice, California is quickly becoming a hot spot for actors, agents, producers and Hollywood’s top talent. Median residential list prices have jumped 16% compared to 2011 and Abbott Kinney Boulevard is seeing spikes in rent as global brands like Gant Rugger move in.

In August 2011, median list prices for homes in Venice Beach were $1.099 million, while in August 2012, that median list price jumped to $1.275 million. In addition to seeing median list prices rise, the area has also had more homes sell in the past year, with 77 sales in 2011 jump to 89 sales in 2012.

The increasing commercialism, increase in gourmet dining options and rising home prices have caused many to believe that Venice may soon become the new Hollywood. The area offers a wide assortment of great ship from upscale boutiques to local and edgy stores, including top brands you’d expect in any tourist destination.

Venice has always been known as a hot spot for the creative and artistic types, and in the 1950s and 60s, the area became a center for the Beat generation with an explosion of poetry and art by participants such as John Thomas, Frank T. Rios, Lawrence Lipton, John Haag and Robert Farrington. Today, celebrities and Hollywood elite are flocking to the area. Including Anjelica Huston, who is currently in the process of selling her 14,000-square-foot compound for $13.9 million, which is reportedly going to be transformed into a SoHo House-style social club with gourmet bathing activities and hot-spring excursions. In addition, numerous Silicon Valley tech titans have headed to Venice to purchase homes, causing the area to be dubbed “Silicon Beach”. Venice today is a vibrant area of Southern California and it continues a tradition of progressive social change involving prominent Westsiders.

Median residential list prices in Venice have jumped 16% in the last year and the restaurant scene has also seen an increase in nationally acclaimed dining options, including Jeremy Fox’s Barnyard, which will open in November.

The laid-back, community-minded vibe of Venice has not been affected by the overall influx of Hollywood-esque restaurant, shops and home prices. According to Maha Dakhil, a motion-picture agent at CAA, “Venice nights soften the edges of days spent in the thick of business.”

Well-known former and current residents of Venice include actresses Julia Roberts, Kate Beckinsale, and Anjelica Huston, actors Tom Conway, Nicolas Cage, Chaney Kley, Tim Meadows, Robert Hegyes and musicians Perry Farrell, Evidence of Dilated Peoples, Joshua Kadison, John Lydon, Ozzy from Survivor, John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fiona Apple and Mike Muir and most of his Suicidal Tendencies bandmates. A longtime resident of Venice, photographer Lauren Greenfield has lived there since 1972.

Venice Beach is made up of various spots including the beach, the promenade that runs parallel to the beach (often referred to as “the boardwalk” or “Ocean Front Walk”), Muscle Beach, the handball courts, the paddle tennis courts, Skate Dancing plaza, the beach volleyball courts, the bike trail and the businesses and residences along Ocean Front Walk. In addition, numerous NBA players were recruited from the basketball courts in Venice.

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