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Venice's Next Gentrification Stage: the Hollywooder Infestation

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One thing we've learned from the Historic Core and Venice is that there's always more gentrification to be done--rents can always climb higher and new, fancier businesses can always move in. And so it is with Venice, which over the past decade and a half has turned from a kind of dangerous hippie land to a trendy favorite of Hollywoodians. Just in the past few months, there's been news of the Anjelica Huston house, which is about to be turned into some kind of private "gourmet bathing" club; the Silver Productions Venice Post Office restoration, and even the expansion of the Lincoln Place garden apartments. The neighborhood might even get pedicabs. The Hollywood Reporter has a big feature on all the recent change--median housing prices have jumped 16 percent over 2011 and Abbot Kinney commercial rents "are up as much as 33 percent from last year to $10 to $12 a square foot a month." The place is just on fire; here are some locals on why that is and how it's affected life:

Maha Dakhil, an agent at CAA: "Venice nights soften the edges of days spent in the thick of business. Some of my best ideas are hatched in Venice. I try to quickly commute those ideas over to Century City before they evaporate with the morning mist."

Maria Bello, actress: "I lived for years in the West Village ... there's such a sense of community -- you can meet your friends and bike places ... What's so lovely about living here is it's such an eclectic group of people. I have no idea who is in entertainment or not."

Jonathan King, VP at Participant Media: "It's much easier to get people to come to my house for a dinner party. Before, I practically had to send a plane to get them to come all the way to the beach."

Gregory Bega, real estate agent: "It's people that don't need the big Beverly Hills or Holmby Hills house. They like the atmosphere, neighborhood and demographics."

Tami Pardee, real estate agent: "Windward Circle, two blocks from Abbot Kinney -- it's such a destination, and it's where people want to be ? It's like 2009 didn't happen; it's back to the height of the market." Image via Chunkiesttulip / Curbed LA flickr pool
· Venice Spotlight: Is the Coolest Neighborhood in L.A. Overheating? [THR]