Staff Reporter

CB Richard Ellis' acquisition spree continues. Last week, the company announced it has acquired London-based Hillier Parker May & Rowden, a 102-year-old commercial property services firm with 500 employees.

After CB Commercial's merger in April with REI Ltd. to create CB Richard Ellis, London was the only major business center where it didn't have a significant presence. CEO Jim Didion said in a statement that the expansion is partly because corporate America, corporate Europe and corporate Asia are increasingly seeking cross-border services as they become more efficient and global, and real estate investors also are seeking opportunities worldwide.

CB has acquired three major real estate service firms since it went public in November 1996.

Health care REIT expands

G & L; Realty Corp., a health care real estate investment trust based in Beverly Hills, last week announced it has invested $13 million in new senior care facilities.

G & L; acquired Pacific Gardens, a 92-unit congregate care facility in Santa Monica, for about $11.1 million and plans to invest an additional $99,000 in expanding and converting it to a 128-bed licensed assisted-living facility. American Senior Living is a minority partner in the acquisition and will manage the renovated property.

G & L; also acquired two acres of vacant land and a one-story apartment complex immediately adjacent to its existing 98-bed assisted-living facility in Phoenix. The property, which was bought for about $1 million, will be used to expand the existing facility by 25 beds.

New Burbank project

Another Burbank low-rise is in the works. Developer HW Burbank LLC plans to build a three-story, 100,000-square-foot office project at 2240 N. Hollywood Way, north of the Media District. The three-acre site had been home since 1947 to the Burbank Trailer Park, which will be demolished this fall. Most of the residents of which 10 remain out of 43 who lived there in January accepted a financial settlement and are being relocated, said William Birtell, senior vice president of Beitler Commercial Realty Services, which is leading the effort to pre-lease the building.

Birtell said he anticipates leasing the project to a single user that wants to place its name on the building. The monthly rental rate is anticipated to be $2.35 per square foot. The project is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 1999.

M. David Paul Development, J.H. Synder Co. and Kilroy Realty Corp. also have office projects underway or in the planning stages in Burbank.

Mall makeover

Montebello Town Center is undergoing a $4.5 million renovation to update the interior of the 13-year-old, two-level regional mall that sits next to the Pomona Freeway.

The project is scheduled to be completed by the holiday shopping season. The 664,000-square-foot mall includes 160 stores, including a Robinsons-May, JC Penney and Mervyns. It will remain open during the renovation, with construction work being done after regular business hours.

The renovation will include replacement of floor finishes, new lighting, interior landscaping, expanded restrooms and an updated food court.

The architect for the project is MCG Architects and the construction firm is Charles Panky Builders Ltd. The center is jointly owned by AETNA Life Insurance Co. and Newport Beach-based developer Donahue Schriber.

Entertainment projects

Two studio sound stage projects moved forward last week, one in downtown and one in Hollywood.

Hollywood Center Studios announced it is building two 16,000-square-foot sound stages and 40,000 square feet of complementary office space on its Las Palmas lot in the Hollywood. Both the sound stages and office space will be available for rent later this summer.

Earlier this year, Hollywood Center Studios acquired a three-acre parcel from the L.A. Department of Water and Power to accommodate parking and other uses displaced by the sound stages.

The new stages will adjoin a three-story production support building. The office component consists of a two-story, 15,000-square-foot building adjacent to the front gate on Las Palmas.

As for the other sound stage project, Bristol Group Inc., Smith, Hricik & Munselle, and Hollywood Locations announced they will break ground in 30 days on their Los Angeles Center Studios near downtown L.A.

They say the "studio campus," to be built on the former Unocal Corp. headquarters site, will be the largest full-service independent film studio developed in L.A. since the 1920s.

The first phase six freestanding state-of-the-art sound stages and 72 attached dressing rooms is scheduled for completion in spring 1999. Eight additional sound stages and dressing rooms are planned to follow in 2001.

Baldwin Hills deal

A private investor has bought the Albertson's/Rite-Aid Center at the corner of La Brea Avenue and Rodeo Road in Baldwin Hills from Stamford Holdings for $7.8 million.

Rick Putnam and Mark Leonard from Trammell Crow Co. represented Stamford Holdings, a corporate pension fund based in Connecticut, in the transaction.

The property had been the site of administrative offices for Thrifty Corp., but was destroyed during the riots in 1992. A new retail center was developed on the site earlier this year and leased out to Albertson's and Rite-Aid.

The Albertson's/Rite-Aid Center sale follows Stamford Holdings' sale last year of an adjacent office property that is occupied by the federal government.

Stamford Holdings still owns three acres of what was originally its six-acre site, and plans to sell the remainder.

Beverly Hills sale

Stanton Street LLC has bought a 32,500-square-foot office building at 8900 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills from Shelli Towers Partnership for about $8.1 million. The building will house Bentley Health Care after having served as the corporate offices of Giant Records and rock band manager HK Management.

Drew Hild and Barry Beitler of Beitler Realty represented the seller, buyer and tenants in the relocation.

Staff Reporter Elizabeth Hayes can be reached at (213) 549-5225 ext. 229.

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