Venice Beach’s newest construction project was completed in early 2009. A beautiful open floor plan with deep, long balconies right on the beach. I jogged past the glass edifice every day. After a month I noticed none of the units had leased, which made me curious enough to approach the leasing agent, Ann. I considered wearing my only suit and pretending to be a professional and opted for jeans and t-shirt instead. A detail that would help me score the joint, I found out later.
I walked into the leasing office on Santa Monica Blvd. and introduced myself. “I’m John Resig, I live in Venice Beach and me and my buddies just started this website called theCHIVE.”
Ann looked up, “Go on.”
“We’re all living in this house on Rose Ave. and we’ve got a lot of traffic and I think it’s a matter of time. I really believe we have something here but we don’t have much money. I don’t know what the rent is-”
“Ok, you can have it.”
Ann reached into her desk drawer without even looking, pulled out a hand written letter, and gently tossed it my direction.
The letter was from the building’s chief architect and owner:
“Ann, the housing market collapse of 2008 has left many out in the cold. I believe leasing this new building back to the wealthy would be a disservice to the Venice Beach Community. Instead, lease this building to a local entrepreneur from Venice. Do not think of leasing the building to an established company or corporation. Give it to the dreamers at whatever price you feel is fair.”
Ann leased us the famous Venice Chive office for $4,500/mo., less than half the listed price. Today, each 7,500 sq. ft. unit leases for around $35,000/mo.