El Segundo: The Next Silicon Valley?

Image: laphotos.com

According to a new report by non-profit think tank Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) program has found that El Segundo could very well be on its way to becoming the next Silicon Valley, attracting “new creative” high-tech businesses.

A Smoky Hollow area study on El Segundo was recently released by the Urban Land Institute that presented results based on thousands of hours of investigation and discusses about the area’s economic development potential. The panel found that despite evidence of dilapidated infrastructure, limited fiber optic capacity and a parking shortage, El Segundo still has the potential for significant growth and could “become the L.A. region’s next successful incubator zone.”

According to the report, “Indeed, many elements are in place for this transition to naturally and quickly evolve: The neighborhood’s stock of mid-Century buildings appeal to the tastes of these types of users. Its small parcels are perfect for start-ups. Its beach-close location is also idea. The character El Segundo – small town yet business-friends – offers a positive environment for entrepreneurs. Even the industrial vibe of Smoky Hollow, epitomized by its name, can be a strong draw for creative types…in this way, the theme of its development destiny may be: let Smoky Hollow be Smoky Hollow.”

Economic development analyst Ted Shove said that what stood out for him in the report is how urgent the need is to improve the fiber optic capacity in the area. Ultimately, Shove noted, a city-owned Internet Service Provider might be the best way to meet businesses’ needs.

“It provides that infrastructure where the private companies just aren’t going, whether it’s lack of density of it’s just lower on their priority list. For Smoky Hollow area, it really allows the city to take a step forward to provide service to folks there and to prospective tenants – that could be a deal-breaker if Internet infrastructure is not in position.”

The report says, “One has only to imagine the communities of tech workers, ad agencies, architecture firms, etc. – all who are very connected through online forums – talking among themselves: “Have you heard about that place in El Segundo? It’s a great place for start-ups and it’s much cheaper and cooler than Santa Monica! It’s called Smoky Hollow.”

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