Howard Hughes Properties Ltd. filed a petition Thursday with the Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission to request that 803 acres of land between Marina del Rey and Playa del Rey be annexed to the City of Los Angeles.
The area is unincorporated.
If the annexation is approved by the commission it would put Playa Vista, a proposed $1-billion residential, office and commercial project, in the city.
Summa Corp. spokeswoman Chris Henry said that Los Angeles can provide the best sewer, road and police service to Playa Vista, which is expected to house more than 20,000 people. Howard Hughes Properties is an affiliate of Summa.
"The property is surrounded almost completely by the City of Los Angeles," Henry said. "To coordinate planning with the surrounding community, it makes sense to be annexed to Los Angeles."
An environmental impact report must be completed and public hearings held before the annexation can be approved by the commission.
Most of the land is vacant, although Hughes Helicopters Inc. and Hughes Aircraft Co. maintain offices there.
Members of Marina del Rey Cityhood Inc., a tenants group, requested last year that the county commission study the feasibility of forming a city of Marina del Rey, including the Summa property.
The study, which was released in March, said, "The Hughes/Summa property has long been proposed for development and annexation to the City of Los Angeles."
The report predicted a deficit of $2 million for the first year of operation of a city of Marina del Rey. It expressed doubts that the area could succeed as an independent city.
But incorporation leaders have disputed figures in the report. They also said that many cities, including recently incorporated West Hollywood, were issued negative reports when they first applied for incorporation.
In Sacramento on Wednesday, the activists argued against a bill that would prevent incorporation of Marina del Rey. A committee vote on the measure was put off for one week.
Leaders of the incorporation movement said the annexation move was speeded up because of the earlier announcement that backers of incorporation had gathered more than twice the 1,400 signatures needed to force the commission to hold a hearing on cityhood. Tax money from the Playa Vista development could help bolster a new city's financial base.
"When they start scurrying around, then you wonder why the scurrying occurred," said LaVaun Vawter, a member of the incorporation committee. Vawter said Summa wants to make sure that Playa Vista is not included in a city of Marina del Rey.
But Summa spokeswoman Henry denied that claim. She said the company intended to have the property annexed to Los Angeles from the earliest planning stages, before a city of Marina del Rey was proposed.