Culver City's new magnetic phenomenon called The Culver Steps
September 19, 2019
By Dennis J. Freeman
The Culver Steps development is a gigantic mixed used project created by Hackman Capital Partners. The Culver Steps is 40,000 square feet of retail and 75,000 feet of office space with a dash of greenery haven thrown in the mix.
Mike Racine, senior vice president, Asset Management, Southern California, and Ryan Smith executive vice president, Investments, Western U.S. took time out of their schedules tackle some questions from Culver City Observer City Editor Dennis J. Freeman about The Culver Steps and what the project means to Culver City.
Dennis J. Freeman/Culver City Observer: Why was this project needed in the first place for the city of Culver City?
Ryan Smith: "The Culver Steps brings to Culver City a truly unique development that consists of approximately 80,000 square feet of cutting-edge creative office space and 45,000 square feet of vibrant retail and restaurant space surrounded by the 35,000 square-foot public plaza. Along with the redevelopment of the adjacent Culver Studios, the property is destined to become the heart of Downtown Culver City and will be a welcoming and warm gathering place for the community."
Dennis J. Freeman/Culver City Observer: How will the Culver City economy benefit with The Culver Steps in place?
Ryan Smith: "Culver City is booming. Fueled by the presence of major entertainment and technology companies, The Culver Steps will attract thousands of people who work and live nearby. Not only will these people enjoy gathering in a one-of-kind environment with a park-like plaza, but they will simultaneously participate in meaningful ways to the local economy by patronizing the many exciting retailers that will call The Culver Steps home."
Dennis J. Freeman/Culver City Observer: How does it affect local or nearby businesses economically and commercially?
Mike Racine: "The Culver Steps offers morning-to-night commerce through corporate and community activities, every day of the week-all of which will benefit nearby businesses. The Culver Steps will draw thousands of visitors to the area not just for shopping and dining, but also for outdoor movies, evening concerts and other special events. We are fortunate to be working with an exceptional leasing team to fill the space with harmonious retail and restaurant tenants. Christine Deschaine and Lee Shapiro of Kennedy Wilson Brokerage share our vision of making The Culver Steps a true destination. Our goal has always been to solidify the area as a hub of economic activity in the heart of Downtown Culver City, and they are helping us achieve that"
Dennis J. Freeman/Culver City Observer: Talk about the design and what type of approach went into crafting and developing The Culver Steps?
Ryan Smith: "The Culver Steps was designed by award-winning Culver City based firm Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects. The Culver Steps is named after the grand staircase that cascades down the side of the building, forming landscaped terraces, as it leads to the public plaza below. The ground level is dedicated to retail and restaurant spaces and the upper three floors for creative offices that are currently occupied by Amazon Studios. The second story opens up to an elevated plaza with a jewel box restaurant space offering incredible views of the plaza and surrounding neighborhood with a signature tree bar anchoring the ample outdoor space. The exterior of the building is clad in charcoal-colored brick and steel to complement the historic structures surrounding it. Inside, the spaces have glass doors that slide and roll up to take advantage of the Southern California climate and fuse indoor and outdoor activities into a cohesive garden environment. The project creates synergy with The Culver Studios Mansion and the Culver Hotel, adjacent landmarks that border the property."
Dennis J. Freeman/Culver City Observer: What did winning if anything, mean for your team to win the LA's Architectural Award?
Mike Racine: "We were honored and humbled to be among such a prestigious group of winners. In some ways, receiving the award was validation of all of the hard work the entire team put into the design and execution of the property, but more so it was humbling confirmation that we were able to fulfill the vision of the City of Culver City. We are so excited to share the result of our collaborative efforts with the Culver City community."
Dennis J. Freeman/Culver City Observer: Is The Culver Steps just another project for the business community to enjoy or does everyone connected to Culver City take pride in the development?
Mike Racine: "The Culver Steps will become a vital and treasured landmark for the entire Culver City community. The property creates a dynamic, new town square in Downtown Culver City-an open, pedestrian-friendly, urban hub for shopping and dining with an outdoor venue for community engagement. The Culver Steps is a world-class property that will bring great pride to Culver City, its residents, and visitors alike."