Higher Power: Wilshire Grand Center.

Higher Power: Wilshire Grand Center. Photo by Thomas Wasper

The 73-story Wilshire Grand Center, the tallest tower in the West, is close to signing its first major office tenant.

The Southern California Association of Governments is slated to sign a lease for two floors, or roughly 44,000 square feet, in the building being developed by Korean Air Lines Co. Ltd., according to two sources familiar with the deal.

It would join Korean Air and the building’s leasing agency, Cushman & Wakefield, which are both slated to take space.

Steve Marcussen of Cushman said Korean Air is expected to take one floor, as the Business Journal reported in September, and that Cushman will also relocate its L.A. offices there from the Figueroa at Wilshire building across the street. The Wilshire Grand is slated to open to office tenants this summer, Marcussen said.

SCAG spokesman Jeff Liu said last week he couldn’t comment on that organization’s lease until the deal was finalized.

Marcussen said deals with several companies were being negotiated, but wouldn’t say whether SCAG was among of them.

The Wilshire Grand has about 353,000 square feet of office space across 18 floors, as well as a multilevel parking garage and 38 floors of hotel space operated by InterContinental Hotels & Resorts slated to open this summer.

CoStar lists the tower’s monthly asking rents at $4.25 a square foot, 70 cents above downtown’s average asking rate in the first quarter, as calculated by Jones Lang LaSalle.

One of the sources familiar with the SCAG lease said the landlord offered concessions, which is typical among new buildings seeking tenant activity. The source also said the term of the association’s lease would be for about 15 years.

Monterey Park Moves

A cluster of office buildings in Monterey Park has sold to Omninet Capital, Neil Kadisha’s Beverly Hills real estate and venture capital fund, brokerage Newmark Grubb Knight Frank announced.

The price tag was $81 million, according to a source familiar with the deal.

The property, called Los Angeles Corporate Center, spans nearly 400,000 square feet across four buildings and went for roughly $205 a square foot in the transaction, which closed March 31. The seller was Blackstone Group through its subsidiary Equity Office Properties Trust.

Sean Fulp of NGKF, which represented Blackstone, said investors often overlook Monterey Park but that the tiny office market holds a necessary niche for tenants.

“Its proximity to downtown is a big demand driver for government agencies, nonprofits, and other tenants that need to be within a certain radius of downtown,” Fulp said.

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