Menlo Park-based Argonaut Insurance Co. is looking to sell an 11-acre development site in West Los Angeles one of the last major undeveloped parcels in the area for as much as $50 million.
A local industry source said that Argonaut has retained real estate investment banking company Eastdil Realty to market what many think could become a prime business address at Olympic Boulevard and Bundy Drive. Argonaut officials did not return calls, and an Eastdil official declined to comment.
Others familiar with the property, and who might have an interest in what transpires at that corner, said the property, which is ripe for redevelopment, could be bring Argonaut as much as $50 million.
Chris Houge, senior managing director with Insignia/ESG Inc., said the property reportedly was in escrow last year for $55 million. That deal, with Hines Interests LP, ultimately fell through. The price is not likely to be that high this time around.
The property currently has two buildings on it, a class-A office building and an industrial building, both of which are fully leased. Fox Television Channel 11 has a long-term lease on the office building and Teledyne Technologies Inc. leases the industrial building.
A source familiar with the Westside market said the property has been under-utilized for years.
"You don't have industrial properties over there," the source said. "That site can accommodate between 750,000 square feet and 850,000 square feet of (office space)."
Houge, who is marketing 150,000 square feet of sublease space at the nearby Westside Media Center, said that the Argonaut property could become a similar office campus development. While the Westside is currently riddled with sublease space, Houge said the market is poised to firm up by the end of the year, and conditions would definitely be healthy by the time any new space would come on line.
"By 2003, 2004, we think, the market will be in a stable position," Houge said. "I think it makes (Olympic and Bundy) an expensive piece of property because of its location."
John Kilroy, president and CEO of Kilroy Realty Corp., developer of Westside Media Center, said he bid on the property the last time it was on the market and expects to get involved this time, too.
"Any time you can find that kind of acreage in that kind if market it makes sense to try to accomplish that," Kilroy said.
As to why Argonaut would want to part with such prime property, most industry officials agreed that the company has neither the wherewithal nor the interest to develop it.
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