Los Angeles Business Journal

Big Apple Firm Has Taste for Downtown Office

ACQUISITION: Tishman Speyer pays $25 million for couple of properties. By Daina Beth Solomon Friday, October 21, 2016
Under Pressure: Hyperloop One building downtown.

Under Pressure: Hyperloop One building downtown. Photo by Courtesy Photo

The company that owns New York’s Rockefeller Center is making a foray into L.A.’s up-and-coming Arts District.

Tishman Speyer is close to buying two office buildings leased by Hyperloop One, a high-speed tube transport startup, said several sources close to the deal. Escrow is set to close as soon as this week, with the deal valued at roughly $25 million, or about $660 a square foot.

This is more than triple the price paid by the Borman Group and Lion Real Estate, which purchased the buildings for a total of $7.8 million between 2014 and last year. The co-owners converted the industrial buildings into office space, and Hyperloop moved in last year.

The trade could mark the beginning of a new acquisition cycle in downtown’s Arts District. Tishman would be the first major investor to purchase an office property there that has been fully developed and leased to a noteworthy tenant. Other office projects are still in the works: Shorenstein Properties’ Ford Factory, Hudson Pacific Properties’ Fourth & Traction, Atlas Capital Group’s Row DTLA, and Blatteis & Schnur Inc.’s At Mateo.

The deal also indicates incredibly high office property values for a neighborhood that still has scant office tenants – and none of them top-credit quality. Although Warner Music Group Corp. recently signed a long-term lease for the Ford Factory, it won’t move in for a couple of years, and there are as yet no indications that other blue-chip companies might follow. BuzzFeed last year backed out of a potential deal for the same property.

At $660 a square foot, the Hyperloop deal is still below rates in traditional office hot spots. In Santa Monica, for example, the Lantana building is in escrow for $825 a square foot.

The Hyperloop property, on Sacramento Street, comprises 23,785 square feet in a post-and-beam building along railroad tracks. The site next door on Bay Street holds 14,193 square feet within three buildings.

Mark Borman, co-founder of the Borman Group, declined to comment, as did a Tishman representative. News of the transaction was first reported online by the Real Deal.

New Town

The Brentwood Town Center is getting a shake-up. The compact retail center next to the Brentwood Country Mart recently signed five new leases worth more than $8 million, said Dan Blatteis, co-chairman of property owner Blatteis & Schnur Inc.

The biggest new tenant, upscale cosmetics store Cos Bar, took 1,474 square feet for 10 years. Premium denim brand Paige Denim also signed for a decade, scooping up 1,208 square feet in what will be a flagship location. Activewear company Human Performance Engineering signed a five-year lease for a 540-square-foot location. All plan to open in December. Workout studio Platefit opened last month in a 763-square-foot space in a lease set for 10 years, and Blue Bottle Coffee will replace Starbucks in May with a 10-year lease for 673 square feet.

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