Cultivating Culver City

Modern furniture boutiques fashion a space

Three years ago, when Pomp Home opened at the intersection of Main Street and Venice Boulevard, “people were surprised to see a store like us in Culver City,” says co-owner Günter Frivert.

As well they might be. A modern furniture boutique devoted to designers like Bonaldo and Thomas Paul accessories didn’t really mesh with a TrueValue hardware store, Mexican restaurant La Ballona, a mom-and-pop antiques shop and the Culver City Beauty College.

Those storefronts are still there, but today Pomp’s neighbors include Bahay Home, which sells a line of handcrafted furniture made in the Phillipines using mortise and tenon joints instead of nails; the Massage Garage and art gallery Western Project.

Frivert and his business partner, Warren Doke, considered opening on Third Street, La Brea Avenue or Abbot Kinney Boulevard; they’re glad they didn’t.

“The area was on the verge of up-and-coming,” says Doke. And, with a location surrounded by the Sony and Culver studios, not to mention being a stone’s throw from 20th Century Fox, Doke says, “it had no choice but to up and come.”

Culver City’s revival — long noted, long in the making — has achieved a new landmark. It’s no longer filling with high-end tenants that recognize a rental bargain; it’s attracting stores who recognize the neighborhood as an end in itself. Soon to come: a wine store and tasting room, Bottle Rock, and Sporteve, devoted solely to high-quality athletic apparel and gear for women.

Bahay co-owner Kana Manglapus says she passed on spaces on Melrose Avenue and Robertson Boulevard to be in Culver City.

“We wanted to be a part of something new,” she says. Formerly the director of an art gallery in New York City’s meatpacking district, she saw the potential for a similar transformation in Culver City, “only with movie studios instead of meatpacking plants.”

Her instincts appear to be correct. On June 3, the area hosted its first annual Culver City Art Walk, giving visitors a self-guided tour of more than 30 galleries and art-related spaces.

Of course, all of that furniture and art needs to go somewhere. Enter MODAA lofts, a half dozen million-dollar live-work condominiums designed by Studio Pali Fekete architects, located above their firm and just-opened restaurant Wilson. Although they were scheduled for completion last December, the condo lofts are finally expected to go on sale in July.

“This type of product is common in Venice,” says Dafna Zilafro, marketing director for MODAA and SPF:a. “We expect to see more of it here.”

3825 Main St.

Pomp Home
3806 Main St.

Gregg Fleishman Studio/ Hedi Khorsand Gallery
3850 Main St.

8601-8635 Washington Blvd.
Designed by architects Judit M. Fekete, Zoltan E. Pali and their firm SPF:architects, feature open and flexible floorplans, architectural details and light-filled interiors with 17-ft. ceilings, polished concrete floors, exposed beams, skylights and tall aluminum windows. Kitchens feature Caesarstone countertops, Bosch appliances and custom maple cabinetry. These are true live/work spaces, which include separate office entrances and five parking spaces per unit.
Listing price: From $1 million
Contact: Sabine Gebser
Venice Properties

Gallery installation at Western Project Furniture from Bahay
The MODAA Lofts
Gallery installation at Western Project Furniture from Bahay The MODAA Lofts
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