Looking to lease space in Arboretum Courtyard in Santa Monica? Sorry, it's too late.

The new 139,000-square-foot project is 93 percent leased, and additional leases are expected to bring the project to 100 percent in the next week. Three deals were just inked last week with three tech-related firms a consistent theme of the project.

"The speed of leasing exceeded our expectations," said Jeff Nickell, vice president at Spieker Properties, which owns and manages the property.

The project only opened in July and commands lease rates upward of $3.25 per square foot per month.

Rick Buckley of CB Richard Ellis, who represented Spieker, said 300,000 square feet worth of proposals were turned away.

"It says a lot about the depth of the market," he said.

The biggest new lease was with the e-commerce division of IBM, which is taking 50,000 square feet at 2150 Colorado Ave., the smaller of the two buildings. The seven-year lease is valued at about $14 million, sources said.

Meanwhile, eCompanies, which inked a deal in August for 21,000 square feet, has already decided to double its space, taking another 22,000 square feet in the 2120 Colorado building (two entire floors). The six-year deal is valued at $5.3 million.

The company, formed by EarthLink Network's chairman and Walt Disney Co.'s former head of online operations, plans to invest in and develop Internet start-ups.

"They had an option on the space and they're growing faster than they thought," said Tony Balbona of Cresa Partners, who represented eCompanies with colleague Matthew Miller.

In another recent deal, Dynamic Digital Depth signed a five-year lease for 5,600 square feet, valued at $1.2 million. The company has a patent to transmit 3-D video over the Internet and will use the space for a licensing and sales office. And rounding out the roster of tech tenants is Broadband Sports, which signed a lease in August.

Spieker was represented in-house by Gail Goldstein, and Chris Houge and Buckley of CB. Bill Ukropina and Neil Resnick of CB represented IBM, while Dana Perel of CB represented Dynamic Digital.

Instant offices

For companies that need to assemble teams quickly and then break them up when a project is finished, space needs ramp up or down very fast.

Enter Regus Business Centres, which wants to capitalize on the L.A. market for "just-in-time" offices.

Regus last week signed its fourth lease in the county since March, this one for about 24,000 square feet at the Pasadena Towers at 800 Colorado Blvd. The 10-year lease has a value of about $7.5 million, said Bert Dezzutti with Equity Office Properties Trust, which owns the towers.

London-based Regus is one of the largest operators in Europe of fully furnished, serviced offices. Other locations locally include Glendale Plaza, Continental Grand Plaza II in El Segundo and the Water Garden II in Santa Monica. "It's a significant overnight presence in high-end buildings and markets throughout the Southland," Dezzutti said.

Bob Gaudreau, who calls himself "head coach" for Regus in North America, said he will also be looking for locations downtown and in Century City.

"The beauty of L.A. is, it reminds me of Atlanta it's so spread out. The traffic is so bad, so you have different niche markets," he said. "We'll need a lot of dots on the map."

Regus supplies business centers to various Fortune 500 companies, consulting firms and tech-oriented companies that use teams of knowledge workers. Gaudreau said he expects the centers here to appeal to the entertainment industry as well, because it tends to be project-oriented.

"There's been no new inventory of this kind, nothing flexible (in L.A.)," he said. "L.A. is ripe for that."

The centers in L.A. rent for about $900 per person per month. Unlike traditional executive suites, which tend to be rows of small offices, Regus offers offices, suites, war rooms and common areas with cyber-cafes.

"It's a nice social place," Gaudreau said. "It almost acts as a piazza."

Shaun Stiles and Hayden Eaves at Cushman & Wakefield represented Equity Office and Whitley Collins and Kent Handleman of CB represented Regus.

Downey Development

The Downey City Council last week short-listed three development teams to vie for the chance to build a huge mixed-use project at a 130-acre site owned by NASA.

They are: the Ezralow Co.; a joint venture of Legacy Partners and Vestar Development Co.; and a joint venture of Industrial Realty Group and Lennar Partners.

All three propose a combination of office, industrial, retail and studio space at the site. In all, up to 2.2 million square feet could be developed, along with a park, school and museum commemorating the site's history.

For 70 years, military aircraft and spacecraft were produced at the site, which the city is negotiating to acquire from NASA. It was a key facility in the development of the Saturn S-11 booster rocket, the Apollo space shuttles and the Skylab space station. But with aerospace consolidations, the site was declared surplus property in 1996 and is winding down by the end of the year.

A final developer selection is expected in November.

CB Building sells

The Carpenters Pension Trust for Southern California closed on its purchase of CB Richard Ellis' former headquarters building downtown, which sold for about $8 million, industry sources said.

The trust plans to move from its current headquarters at 520 Virgil Ave. after renovating the 10-story Fremont Street building. CB outgrew the 30-year-old building and recently moved employees to Beaudry Center and 865 Figueroa St. The company is still finalizing a new headquarters location, likely either downtown or in El Segundo.

Rick Buckley brokered the deal.

Elizabeth Hayes can be reached at (323) 549-5225, ext. 229, or at ehayes@labusinessjournal.com.

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