Rob Langer, managing partner at Meringoff Equities Inc., isn't waiting around for some elusive tenant to take down the 50,000 square feet of retail space he's got sitting vacant at Hollywood and Vine.

Yes, there's an aggressive marketing push, but in the meantime he's found a way to make money while he's hunting down restaurants and retailers to take the main floor at his Broadway Building: daily and weekly rental.

Nintendo of America Inc. just used the space at the world-famous corner to throw lavish, celebrity-filled parties and roll out its GameCube, temporarily renaming the space the Nintendo Cube Club.

Langer declined to reveal the rent he got from the two-week event because he said Nintendo was sensitive about the matter, but he thinks he can make as much as $1,500 a day on the space. He's grateful Nintendo put the idea in his head.

"They came to us about (four) weeks ago and first I said 'No, we're leasing this long-term, we don't want to screw it up,'" Langer said. "Then we thought, 'Well, we're not doing anything with it so why not?'"

Now Meringoff Equities is considering premier parties and film shoots, whatever Langer and company can get to generate revenue while he waits for the economy to right itself.

"We had a lot of people interested and I was ready to bet the house we'd have a lease signed in the first quarter of 2002," Langer said last week. "February or March is now looking like May or June. Nobody's killed a deal, but everybody's put it on hold."

Sales and Leasing Activity

Waken Development LLC of Arcadia recently broke ground on a two-building, low-rise office complex on North Fifth Avenue. The three-story buildings, scheduled to be delivered in June, will be 55,600 square feet and 30,000 square feet. National Automobile & Casualty Insurance Co. of Pasadena has agreed to buy the smaller building. CB Richard Ellis Inc. will market the second building

Insurance brokerage Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. signed a 10-year, $14 million lease at 505 N. Brand Blvd. in Glendale in a deal that includes building top signage. The brokerage will consolidate its two Los Angeles offices in 46,000 square feet on floors five and six at the building. Landlord SP Glendale LLC is responsible for five years remaining on the brokerage's current lease at 21650 Oxnard St, according to Clayton Hovivian, a senior director at Cushman & Wakefield, who represented the tenant. Douglas Marlow of CB Richard Ellis Inc. represented the landlord in the transaction

AECOM, the Los Angeles-based architecture, engineering and water management company, has acquired Oscar Faber PLC, an engineering and planning consultancy in London. AECOM, which owns L.A. architecture giant Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall, would not disclose the cost of acquisition. Executive Vice President Grant McCullagh said the deal closed on Oct. 12 for a combination of cash and stock. The new company will join AECOM's UK operation, known as Maunsell, and be renamed Faber Maunsell. McCullagh said Oscar Faber reports annual revenues of $75 million. The combined companies are expected to bring in $140 million in 2002

LA Rent-a-Car spent $1.76 million to buy 60,850 square feet at 9009 Bellanca Ave., which is down the block from its LAX rental lot. Iz Eichenstein, president of Oakstone Co., represented the property owner, Merle Norman Cosmetics Inc. Jan Lee, a senior broker at Oakstone represented LA Rent-a-Car. The property will become a car lot...

Eichenstein also represented 4811 Partnership in its $3.5 million sale of a 92,000-square-foot industrial warehouse at 4811 Alameda St. near Vernon to Kellytoy USA Inc. Kellytoy had been leasing the property. Anthony Brent, a senior broker at Lee & Associates, represented Kellytoy

RREEF spent an undisclosed amount to buy Carson Industrial Buildings in Carson from Kennedy Associates of Seattle. The property, at El Presidio and Alameda streets, is made up of two buildings totaling 129,551 square feet. The buildings are fully leased to Zuellig Botanical Extracts Inc. RREEF manages $14.5 billion in pension fund real estate investments for more than 190 corporate, public and international clients.

In a deal that reverses the recent trend of air freight companies leaving the LAX submarket for the South Bay, Exel Global Logistics Inc. signed a 10-year deal for a 120,000-square-foot office building at 11099 S. La Cienega Blvd. The warehouse, part of what's commonly known as the Customs Building because it houses the headquarters for the U.S. Customs Service, has been empty for some time because landlord International Airport Center has been holding out for its price. The price was finally right as Exel will be paying $1 per foot in a market where rates have topped out at 80 cents per foot

Logistics company Barthco International Inc. signed a $3.3 million, five-year lease for 104,267 square feet at Watson Industrial Center South. Barthco will move its operations from Rancho Dominguez to the building at 1000 E. 223rd St. in Carson. Uri Rodan of ANR Asset Management Brokerage represented Barthco in the deal. Landlord Waston Land Co. was represented in-house by Kirk Johnson...

Brendan Tours, which takes vacationers through the South Pacific and Europe, spent $3.7 million to buy a 40,000-square-foot building industrial/office building in Chatsworth. The purchase more than doubles Brendan Tours' current headquarters at 15137 Califa St. in Van Nuys. The company will move 140 people to 21625 Prairie St. in November. Jerry Scullin, principal at Delphi Business Properties represented Brendan Tours in the deal. Nick Gregg and Barbara Emmons of CB Richard Ellis Inc. represented the seller, ProLogis.

Wardlaw Center Partners LLC spent $6.8 million to buy the El Dorado Shopping Center at 8111 E. Wardlaw Road in Long Beach. Wardlaw Center Partners of West Los Angeles bought the 75,150-square-foot center anchored by TJ Maxx, Big A Drugs and Huffs Restaurant from Milco Investments of Beverly Hills. Wardlaw Center Partners plans to rehab the center. Reza Etedali of Sperry Van Ness represented buyer and seller in the transaction.

Staff reporter Christopher Keough can be reached at (323) 549-5225 ext. 235 or by e-mail at ckeough@labusinessjournal.com.

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