12582 Millennium Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90094, USA

Date and Time

Wednesday, December 5 2018 - 6 PM

Event Details

Tech companies are flocking to Southern California! Los Angeles has the fastest growing tech labor force in the country - up 12.3% in the last two years. Orange County isn’t far behind – up 10.6% in two years according to CBRE’s Scoring Tech Talent Report. Many major tech firms are moving to the area to take advantage of this growing tech labor force and lower rents relative to other major tech hubs – namely, the San Francisco Bay Area.

Tech giants such as Facebook and YouTube have opened large offices in Playa Vista. In October, Google tripled its Los Angeles footprint with the opening of its long-awaited new headquarters in the Spruce Goose hangar. Netflix, Amazon and Apple are also expanding their Los Angeles presence to tap into the content creation space. Even Biotech wants in on the action, recently forming BioLA, an organization focused on fostering growth in the life science industry within Los Angeles County.

As tech and biotech rapidly expand into Silicon Beach, downtown LA’s Arts District, Culver City as well as Orange County and San Diego, major real estate firms have responded by developing tech office space to an unprecedented extent across Southern California.

SPIRE members and guests gathered at the IMAX headquarters in Playa Vista for a networking reception followed by a discussion on the office tech space boom in Southern California with our panel of experts:

  • Varun Akula – Director at Hines in the firm’s Los Angeles office.
  • Kent Handleman – Senior Vice President, Lincoln Property Company
  • Scott Mayer – COO of AVG Partners, a privately held real estate firm in Beverly Hills

The panel was moderated by Brendan Gallagher ('17), Analyst at Hines in the firm's San Diego office. This event was open to all SPIRE members and guests and ended with dessert and more networking.


Varun Akula - Director, Hines

Since joining Hines in 2008, Varun has been involved in the acquisition and management of over 9 million square feet of real estate valued at over $4.3 billion within Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, and Las Vegas. Varun is also involved in the firm’s development and entitlement activities including entitlement of the Pen Factory in Santa Monica and currently entitlement of the Martin Expo Town Center.

Kent Handleman - Senior Vice President, Lincoln Properties

Kent oversees leasing for Lincoln Properties in Los Angeles which currently consists of approximately 4 million square feet of office projects. He represents ownerships that include Lincoln Partnerships, associated capital partners and third party owners in various submarkets that include South Bay, Playa Vista, Culver City, Santa Monica, downtown Los Angeles, Tri-Cities and the San Fernando Valley.

Scott Mayer - COO, AVG Partners

Scott is responsible for all aspects of AVG Partner's operations, including the firms assets. Prior to AVG Partners, Scott was Chief Real Estate Officer for the County of Orange, California. He and his team were responsible for managing the County’s vast real estate holdings, which include over 11 million square feet of owned, improved property and 2.5 million square feet of leased, improved property. Scott and his team were tasked with leveraging underutilized real estate assets to generate new revenue streams, including the formation of innovative public/private partnerships for the revitalization of Dana Point Harbor, a Civic Center Master Plan, and various mixed-use development projects on over 1,700 acres.

Brendan Gallagher ('17) - Analyst, Hines

Brendan works on acquisitions and development projects of all product types for Hines in San Diego. Previously, he spent time with The Westly Group, a green-tech focused venture capital firm in Palo Alto and Morgan Stanley's Investment Banking Division in Los Angeles. Brendan received his bachelor's degree in Philosophy from Stanford University in 2017.