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Google Is 'Ruining' Venice Beach

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SANDY BLOWBACK
DailyFeed

Venice Beach is undoubtedly one of the coolest and seediest places in Los Angeles. Even GQ holds the beach in high regard, proclaiming the coolest block in America to be Venice’s own Abbot Kinney Boulevard.

It has a vibrant population consisting of beach-dwelling bodybuilders, colorful street vendors, homeless people, tourists, and medical marijuana dispensaries. But it seems there’s a fairly new group of residents threatening to tarnish this beach community’s good name: Google (GOOG) employees.

Not nearly as extravagant as Apple's (AAPL) upcoming spaceship campus, Google located some sales and technology employees at a 100,000 square foot office in Venice Beach back in November. The company is leasing some more square footage which contains the high holy temple of bodybuilding, Gold’s Gym.

The concern amongst the musclemen and residents of Venice Beach is that Google will enact a Revenge of the Nerds-style plan to kick out the famous gym and the strong men who frequent it.

In July of 2014, Google will start renting the Gold’s Gym property directly across from its offices in Venice Beach. Google has assured Gold’s and Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendah that they want the gym to stay and are trying to help extend the gym’s lease.

It looks like Google might actually respect the location of these offices and want to be part of the community. There are so many Google employees in Venice Beach; some have started calling it Silicon Beach. There’s even a festival to celebrate the Venice computer community starting June 21.

The beach does have plenty of advocates including former governor and former body builder Arnold Schwarzenegger, who got his start on Venice Beach. He still has an office there and usually greeted out of town guests in Venice Beach instead of Sacramento while he was California’s governor.

A longtime resident helped get the speed bag area new equipment. A psychologist from Santa Monica has been painting portraits of Venice Beach’s homeless and listening to their stories for two years. LA City Councilman Bill Rosendah wants to put in a 720-foot zip line above the boardwalk before the fourth of July. It will cost $20 per person to ride and the operating company will share a percentage of the revenue with the city, to be used for cleaning trashcans and bathrooms.

(See also: Apple's New 'Spaceship' Worthy of Religious Worship)
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