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Are Hawthorne's industrial areas shaping up to be the next Arts District?

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Breweries, letterpress studios, and even a high-end motorcycle company owned by Keanu Reeves are opening up shop

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The industrial parts of Hawthorne are getting cooler by the minute.

That’s the gist of a story published today in the Los Angeles Times, which says old warehouses once occupied by aerospace companies are now likely to hold a diverse array of hip tenants: breweries, letterpress studios, restaurants, and artist studios.

Affordable rents for the cool warehouses have drawn businesses and SpaceX’s presence has helped keep them there, it seems. The company’s workers are patronizing local eateries and breweries—one brewery even has a beer named for SpaceX (Space XPA).

The future Rams and Chargers stadium under construction in Inglewood has helped as well, as many expect business to get even better once it opens.

The formerly industrial nooks of Hawthorne have “that kind of arts-district feel,” Los Angeles Ale Works co-founder Andrew Fowler tells the Times—except at a much more affordable price.

Those old warehouses rent for between $1 and $1.50 per square foot, says the Times. In Downtown, retail space costs an average of $2.57 per square foot, according to the latest numbers from the Downtown LA Business Improvement District.

Businesses are paying attention for sure. Urth Caffe is moving its headquarters from the pricey Arts District to Hawthorne. L.A. Ale Works, which opened this year, is soon to be joined in the neighborhood by another brewery. There’s also a “high-end motorcycle manufacturer Arch Motorcycle Co., co-owned by actor Keanu Reeves.”

Artists are noticing too. The manager of the Hawthorne Arts Complex, Danny Meyer, told the Times that demand was so high for art space was so high that “almost 50% of his newly built studios have already been rented.”

People looking for a blank canvas of a space would do well to look in Hawthorne say many business owners who have already gotten in. “If you’re just trying to rent places, Hawthorne is hot,” Meyer said.