Hyperloop isn’t all hype.
A company behind the futuristic, high-speed transportation system fantasized by Tesla and SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk has leased warehouse space in downtown Los Angeles and is rapidly adding new workers to a staff of 20 full-time employees.
Musk’s imaginary Hyperloop would use vacuum tubes to transport freight and passengers at speeds of 750 mph, racing from Los Angeles to San Francisco in half an hour. Until recently, it’s been little more than an idea.
Now Hyperloop Technologies Inc., one company working on the project, has taken up residence for Hyperloop World Headquarters in a 6,500-square-foot industrial space in a gentrifying section of the Arts District.
Wedged into a corner abutting Interstate 10, the Los Angeles River and railroad tracks, Hyperloop shares a scruffy, graffiti-marked block with a fish wholesaler and a number of garment factories.
Tuesday morning, young men wearing jeans, T-shirts and baseball caps were arriving for work at the company’s unmarked front door.
An owner of the property said Hyperloop has committed to leasing nearly 38,000 square feet in the current building and an adjacent property over the next 12 months.
The proximity of the renovated former industrial building with curving bow-truss ceilings to an Industrial Revolution-era transportation may be intentional.
“It has barn doors on the back that overlook an industrial yard [and] a very urban vibe,” said landlord Jeff Weller of Lion Real Estate Group. “Being next to the train tracks is hopefully very symbolic for them.” ….