Pasadena is losing an office tenant to its neighbor to the east.

Xerox Special Information Systems will be moving from Pasadena next door to Monrovia. The company has signed a 15-year lease for a two-story, 137,500-square-foot building now under construction at 1218 S. Fifth Ave., just south of Huntington Drive.

It will be ready for occupancy in a year, and up to 200 employees will work at the site. Given rental rates in the area, at about $1.15 per square foot per month, the value of the deal is close to $30 million.

Samuelson & Fetter of Monrovia is developing the build-to-suit, which will be expandable to 160,000 square feet and surrounded by parking for 500 cars. It is working with the architecture firm Gensler.

The Xerox unit's current office-warehouse and dry-lab space on Halstead Street is being renovated by Kearny Real Estate Co. But the company was looking for functional, not lavish, space, said Christopher Cooper of Jones Lang LaSalle, who advised Xerox in site selection.

"(Kearny) is creating a high-end office environment and Xerox's requirement was more R & D;," Cooper said.

Xerox searched a 25-mile radius, but existing buildings often required substantial systems upgrades.

Samuelson-Fetter is also constructing Millennium Center, a 140,000-square-foot office and research building at Huntington and Myrtle Avenue nearby.

Downtown Hotel Sold

An affiliate of Costa Mesa-based Tarsadia Hotels has purchased the elegant, old Wyndham Checkers Hotel in downtown L.A. for an undisclosed sum.

Located at 535 S. Grand Ave., the 188-room boutique hotel was sold by Grand Avenue Partners of Dallas. Checkers had 24 years remaining on its ground lease but the land was also sold, so the deal was fee simple.

The hotel was built in 1927 at a cost of $1 million and previously known as the Mayflower Hotel. Jordan Richman of Grubb & Ellis represented the buyer and seller.

West Hills Deals

Two new tenants have signed leases at Corporate Pointe @ West Hills, the former headquarters of Coast Federal Savings.

Chatsworth-based MRV Communications leased 39,000 square feet, the entire first new building at the project, for its Zuma Networks division. The five-year deal is valued at nearly $5 million.

And Recycler Classifieds, a division of Times Mirror Co., leased 14,500 square feet in a seven-year deal valued at $2.5 million.

Trammell Crow Co. has been renovating the project for the past year on behalf of Kennedy Associates Real Estate Counsel. Mark D. Leonard of Trammell Crow and Ron Wade, Matt Hargrove, Mark T. Leonard and Margaret Fichter of Cushman & Wakefield represented the owner.

Scott Caswell of Delphi Business Properties represented MRV and Frank Rivas of United Systems Integrators represented Recycler.

At Home in Hollywood

The CNN Building in Hollywood has signed up two new tenants: Vision Advertising and Atom Films. Both signed five-year leases for 8,000 square feet each on the 14th floor, said Rob Langer, vice president at Meringoff Equities, which bought the Sunset Boulevard building last year.

Monthly rents in the tower have moved up to more than $2 per square foot, and the occupancy has risen to 97 percent from 85 percent. The deals with Vision and Atom took the last vacant floor in the building.

Alan Gecht at Corporate Realty represented Vision and Tom Spankie and Randy Geddes at Suave Riegel represented Atom.

In other Meringoff-related news, the company recently sold Ocean Park Plaza in Santa Monica to Build America LLC for $15.5 million.

That two-story, garden office building is 95 percent occupied, with the state of California being a major tenant. GE Capital Corp. provided the acquisition financing through Bob Morey of L.J. Melody.

Historical Purchase

Blue Real Estate Management has acquired the eight-story, historical Pacific Southwest Trust and Savings Bank building in Pasadena.

Blue purchased the 110,000-square-foot building on behalf of its investor clients from YTC (USA) Inc. for about $11.5 million. The building is located at 234 E. Colorado Blvd., at the corner of Marengo Avenue. It abuts Paseo Colorado, TrizecHahn Development Corp.'s remake of the former Plaza Pasadena mall.

Constructed in 1924, the Pacific Southwest Trust building was the largest commercial structure in Pasadena at the time. The building was designed in the Renaissance Revival style, with an exterior of granite, brick and terra cotta and an interior of marble, wood and Florentine-style painted surfaces. It has been renovated and updated during the past decade and remains in good condition. Including pending leases, the building is 98 percent occupied.

"Pasadena's a very strong office market and the building is very strategically located and it's a beautiful building, a pride-of-ownership building," said James Ries, president of Blue.

The seller was represented by William Puget of Cushman Realty Corp. and the buyer by Ross Wallach and Douglas Cancienne of Diversified Commercial Investments.

Santa Fe Springs Deals

Two new leases have been signed for the second-phase expansion of the Golden Spring Business Center in Santa Fe Springs, one of the largest business parks being developed in L.A. County.

Nelson and Associates, an electrical equipment distributor, leased 120,000 square feet and Playmates Toys leased nearly 83,000 square feet. The Costa Mesa-based international toy distributor and manufacturer is expanding its distribution facility from Orange County.

Mike Foley, Steve Calhoun and Clyde Stauff of Colliers Seeley represented the landlord in the transactions. Brad Christian represented Nelson and Sam Foster of Jones Lang LaSalle represented Playmates.

In other Santa Fe Springs news, The Carson Cos. recently purchased a 285,000-square-foot industrial building for $16 million.

The building, located at 12330/12434 Lakeland Road, is occupied by the Coaster Co. of America, which is one of the top three furniture importers in the nation. It was sold by the RREEF Funds, which completed the concrete tilt-up structure last year.

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

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