David Geffen, real estate developer?

Maple Associates Ltd., a joint venture between the music-industry mogul and Dr. Bernard Salick, will soon break ground on a $60 million, four-story office building in Beverly Hills. Located at 407 N. Maple Drive, the 160,000-square-foot building will sit just down the street from another new office building Geffen is purchasing, at 331 Maple.

The partnership purchased the 407 Maple property more than a decade ago, but it took several years to progress through the city planning process and gain approvals. Salick is the former CEO and owner of Salick Health Care, a major chain of dialysis and cancer treatment centers acquired in 1997 by Zeneca PLC; Salick himself was subsequently ousted as chief executive by Zeneca.

Currently, demolition work is taking place at the two-acre site, where a warehouse, a 40-year-old, two-story office building and former mortuary had been located, said Tim Siuta, vice president of corporate construction and design for Salick Group Holdings. The site is close to the Beverly Hills City Hall, in an area zoned for industrial uses because it was originally intended to house a city trucking and maintenance yard.

Bentley Heath Care, an outpatient cancer center owned by Salick, was located in the small office building on the site, but moved to another Beverly Hills location about six months ago.

Siuta said construction should begin on the new, four-story office building in August. It will sit atop three levels of subterranean parking and offer large floor plates with state-of-the-art telecommunications connectivity. Renaissance Partners is managing construction.

The project was designed by the noted firm of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates of New York and promises to be special. Gwathmey is a foremost architect to the stars and super-rich, known for his modern, geometric designs.

The structure will feature a "big open courtyard in the center," flanked by two wings in a U shape, joined by a bridge at the third floor, Siuta said. The exterior will be a combination of marble and metal. "It's a very interesting-looking building," he added.

While Siuta said "a major tenant would be preferred," the building could also accommodate multiple tenants. With the office vacancy rate in Beverly Hills at about 7 percent, this is the time to build, he said.

"Had we started a year or year and a half ago, it would have been better," he said. "But it seems like it will only get better. There's nothing new (being built)."

Said Richard Sherman, Geffen's business manager: "The economics make sense."

Meanwhile, Geffen is in escrow on the 81,000-square-foot Gwathmey-designed building at 331 Maple that features an unusual tube-shaped design in glass on the fa & #231;ade side of the third floor.

Geffen had actually initiated that project but then sold it to Universal Studios Inc., which proceeded with the project to house its music labels there. But then it acquired PolyGram and ended up moving its consolidated labels to the Arboretum Gateway in Santa Monica. So now Geffen is buying the never-occupied building back from Universal for a price in excess of $20 million.

Beitler Commercial Realty Services is marketing for-lease space in the newly completed building.

Rodeo Drive Deal

Falcon Real Estate Investment Co., a New York-based advisor, and a London-based capital partner are in escrow to buy Two Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills for about $130 million, sources said.

Several rents along the faux-European, cobblestone street are below market levels, with leases having been in place since 1990. That's when the current owners, a partnership between Sogo Co. and Kowa Real Estate Investment Co., bought the 135,000-square-foot complex of upscale boutiques for more than $200 million.

Some of the top names in retailing rent space at Two Rodeo, including Cartier, Tiffany and Valentino.

The sales deal is expected to close within the next 60 days.

Culver City Sale

RREEF Funds last week bought the 160,000-square-foot Park Place office complex in Culver City for about $22 million. The complex was sold by Legacy Partners on behalf of Goldman Sachs & Co.'s Whitehall Fund.

RREEF was one of six potential buyers and paid the asking price, said Steve Solomon of Colliers Seeley International, who brokered the deal with Mike Ross.

The 16-building complex sits on separate parcels at 6001-6095 Bristol Parkway, across from Corporate Point. Legacy bought the buildings a couple of years ago, fixed them up and raised the occupancy rate from 65 percent to 98 percent. Tenants include Protection One and the County of Los Angeles. Solomon said lots of below-market leases are rolling over in the next couple of years.

"They may hold and roll the leases to market or sell individual buildings," Solomon said.

Lots of Leases

Here's a quick rundown of a few recent lease deals around L.A.:

- Administaff Services LP signed a 10-year lease valued at $12.2 million at Trenton Corporate Center in Diamond Bar. The Houston-based company, which serves as an off-site, full-service human resources department for small and medium-sized businesses, leased 50,000 square feet for a new service center. Taylor Ing of CB Richard Ellis and Greg Brown of Cushman & Wakefield represented the owner, the Trenton Group.

- Financial services firm Sutro & Co. leased 19,000 square feet at the Water Garden II in Santa Monica, where it will expand and relocate its office from 11150 Santa Monica Blvd. The 10-year deal is valued at $10 million. Eric Duncanson of Julien J. Studley and Stephen Walbridge of Cresa Partners (formerly of Studley) represented Sutro, and Brendan McCracken and Scott Chalmers represented owner J.H. Snyder Co. in-house.

- ValueClick, which provides banner advertising, has subleased the entire 23,000-square-foot ground floor of 4360 Park Terrace Drive, in the Westlake Spectrum complex, in a $1.3 million deal. The company's recent IPO resulted in a significant hiring push and officials decided to relocate the corporate headquarters from Carpinteria to Westlake Village to take advantage of that area's deeper labor pool, said David Toomey of Cresa Partners, who, along with Brian Davies and Carlo Brignardello, represented ValueClick. Jim Fish of Travers Realty represented the sublessor, Coyote Networks.

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

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