The El Segundo/Manhattan Beach office market has been tightening in recent months, so it's no surprise that there are several new lease deals to report there.

Two of them were signed recently in the Rosecrans corridor. Deloitte & Touche leased 10,000 square feet at the Data General Building at 1500 Rosecrans Blvd., not far from the new Raleigh Studios Manhattan Beach, said John Ghiselli, a broker at Julien J. Studley who represented the accounting firm.

Deloitte will use its space as a South Bay-LAX satellite office and training center. The 10-year lease was valued at $2.7 million.

In that same building, PeopleMover recently leased 13,000 square feet, said Cresa Partners' Matthew Miller, who represented the firm in its move from Hermosa Beach.

Studley also has a listing for 55,000 square feet of available sublease space at 841 Apollo the largest contiguous block in the Rosecrans corridor. "That market is really tight as a drum," Ghiselli said.

The vacancy rate in El Segundo/Manhattan Beach inched down in the first three months of the year to 11.7 percent, from 13.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 1998.

In a deal at 1700 Walnut Ave., Auto Insurance Specialists leased 17,000 square feet, according to building owner Kearny Real Estate Co. James Jandro of Cushman & Wakefield represented both sides in the five-year deal, valued at $1.9 million.

There is also a recent noteworthy industrial transaction to report in El Segundo. Exodus Communications Inc., a provider of Internet systems, leased about 91,000 square feet of "high-end" industrial space at 200 N. Nash St. The 10-year lease value was $7.5 million.

The facility has 23,000 square feet of mezzanine office space and 24-foot clearance. The Klabin Co.'s David Prior, Todd Taugner, F. Ronald Rader and Harvey Beesen represented Legacy Partners, the landlord. McKinney Travers represented Exodus.

El Segundo isn't just seeing in-migration, however. The region's vacancy rate would have dropped further if not for the fact that some clients are still moving out.

The Department of Defense's Contract Management District West has relocated from El Segundo to its new 80,000-square-foot facility at Dominguez Technology Center. The Carson Cos. last year sold the two-story office building in the TRW business campus to the agency, which manages about 125,000 contracts in 25 Western states. The TRW campus is part of the 438-acre Dominguez Technology Center and includes a conference center, cafeteria, fitness center and child care facility.

Another broker defects

At the risk of sounding repetitive, yet another broker switched firms last week the latest in a long string of major personnel changes in commercial real estate. Call it a sign of an active real estate market, more competition or brokers craving a change.

In the latest move, Ian Strano has left Beitler Commercial Realty Services and joined First Property Realty Corp.

"I think it's time to move on. Micheal and Jeff have a great operation," Strano said, referring to First Property's founders, Micheal Geller and Jeff Resnick.

Strano, who has specialized in the Santa Monica and Culver City markets, said all his clients and listings will stay with him, including Conjunctive Points, a creative space project in Culver City.

San Dimas office project

More speculative development is coming to the San Gabriel Valley, and this time it's not industrial.

San Juan Capistrano-based Wohl Property Group, in a joint venture with Prudential Real Estate Investors, plans to break ground this month on the Via Verde Corporate Plaza in San Dimas.

The $21.5 million spec suburban office development is planned for 11.5 acres at the southeast corner of Via Verde and San Dimas Avenue. It's scheduled to be completed in the first quarter next year and will consist of three buildings encompassing 155,904 square feet.

Wohl bought the property from Honda Oil Co. last December. Cushman & Wakefield's John Minervini and Erik Larson represented both sides in the deal and are handling the leasing.

Troubled mall lands nightclub

The Hollywood Galaxy, that white elephant of a retail project on Hollywood Boulevard that CIM Group recently purchased, has signed a deal with a major New York jazz club.

The Knitting Factory has leased 10,000 square feet in the building and plans to open the club in early 2000. It's the first West Coast location for club owner KnitMedia and will contain a large performance space seating up to 400, as well as a more intimate space seating 45. The New York and Hollywood clubs will be connected with a video link, allowing cross-coastal friends to share a virtual drink.

News & notes

Western Union Corp. has leased 39,000 square feet in a 10-year lease valued at $6.5 million, at Cerritos Corporate Tower. The nine-story building is on Studebaker Road. Jay Krigsman, of the Krausz Cos., and Craig Dimiranda of CB represented the tower; Manuela Amerzcua of the Kaufman Group represented Western Union.

Dinwiddie Construction Co. has leased 12,500 square feet of office space in the 21-story tower at 811 Wilshire Blvd., where it will relocate and expand its headquarters. The company plans to occupy its regional headquarters on the 15th floor on July 1, moving from the 1100 block of Wilshire. The seven-year lease is valued at $1.5 million. Paul Stockwell and Will Adams, with Julien J. Studley Inc., represented Dinwiddie. Kevin Housman and Michael Lee with Charles Dunn Co. represented landlord L.A. Wilshire Corp.

WWCOT Architects is relocating its corporate headquarters to 3130 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica, from 2020 Santa Monica Blvd. The new location will give the firm much-needed additional space 15,000 square feet, or the entire sixth floor of the six-story building, which is owned by Kilroy. The value of the 10-year lease exceeds $2.2 million.

Elizabeth Hayes can be reached at (323) 549-5225, ext. 229.

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