Defense Firm Sees Savings in Pending West L.A. Deal

Real Estate
by Danny King

Crown Realty & Development Inc. finally may have found a tenant for the 200,000-square-foot second phase of its Wateridge project at La Cienega Boulevard and Slauson Avenue.

International defense giant BAE Systems Controls is said to be close to signing a lease deal for 150,000 square feet at the complex, which was completed by Irvine-based Crown Realty last fall. BAE sold its 200,000-square-foot offices next to Santa Monica Airport to Santa Monica Community College in December, and has been leasing the property back.

Both Robert Flaxman, president of Crown Realty, and CRESA Partners' Matthew Miller, representing BAE, declined comment.

But local real estate sources said the deal in the works is for at least 10 years at an effective rate of about $2 a foot, pegging the value at more than $36 million.

Asking rates for large blocks of space nearby Maguire-Partners' Water's Edge and Arden Realty Group Inc.'s 6100 Center Drive are approaching $3 a foot, making the deal look like a bargain.

"That's a $150,000 a month difference," said David Thurman, senior vice president at Grubb & Ellis Co. "You run that out over a 10 year period, that's big money."

Because Wateridge is in an unincorporated part of Los Angeles County, a company like BAE stands to also save on business taxes, according to Bruce Schuman, senior vice president at Julien J. Studley Inc.

"It's kind of an island," said Schuman of the building's location, which is just south of the oil-rigged section of Baldwin Hills. "(But) if you have a lot of revenue being reported through that location, it could be a seven-figure a year issue. There's no question there's some advantage to it."

All Sewn Up

It may not be downtown Los Angeles, but Esportia International Inc. seems to be creating a little garment district of its own in Irwindale.

The clothing company will be expanding its operations and corporate headquarters space by 56 percent with its purchase of three buildings totaling more than 134,000 square feet at the Buena Vista Business Center. The deal for the buildings, recently completed by Solana Beach-based McMahon Development as part of a 290,000-square-foot business park at Bateman Avenue and Buena Vista, was valued at $9.4 million.

"They were in escrow before they even began construction," said Cushman & Wakefield Associate Erik Larson, who, with Robin Dodson and John Minervini, and Grubb & Ellis' Gary Kreft, represented Esportia on the purchase.

The move was made to take advantage of available space and proximity to management residences, said Larson, who pointed out that Irwindale is known more for light industry and import-export businesses than garment manufacturing.

Esportia sold its 50,000-square-foot headquarters building in Arcadia for $3.1 million, and is in escrow on the sale of its 36,000-square-foot plant nearby.

Mitch Ashwill of Ashwill Associates represented the landlord on the deal.

Leaving the Fold

Steven H. Moss, former president of Moss Group, has left the family-owned real estate company to set up his own firm.

Moss opened Pacific View Development and Realty, which handles brokerage, property management and development.

"I decided I wanted to step away from the day-to-day operation of running a company with 20 employees," said Moss, who spent 22 years at Moss Group.

He said he has acquired some properties in San Diego County and is looking for projects in the San Fernando Valley. He expects to focus on commercial and multi-family properties and will operate out of offices in Calabasas and Carlsbad.

Moss Group owns 16 office buildings in the San Fernando Valley. It developed, owns and manages Encino Office Park, a 206,000-square-foot complex at Balboa Avenue and Victory Boulevard.

Post-Production Moves

Deluxe Video Systems has sublet 13,012 square feet at 200 S. Flower St. in Burbank from Liberty Livewire.

Liberty, a publicly held post-production company based in Santa Monica, has been on an acquisition spree and sublet the space, formerly occupied by a company it acquired as the result of a merger.

Jake King and Rick Buckley, brokers with Insignia/ESG, represented Deluxe and Insignia's Nico Vilgiate and R. Todd Doney represented Liberty.

Special Delivery

Evergreen Aviation Ground Logistics Enterprises of McMinniville, Ore. has taken all of a spec building at Western Realco's Airport Mission Business Center in Ontario.

The seven year deal for the 168,000-square-foot building, valued at $5 million, represents a major expansion for EAGLE, which recently landed a major logistics contract from the U.S. Postal Service. The shell of the building, near Ontario International Airport, was completed in March and move-in is slated for July.

Klabin Co. Partner Luke Staubitz, along with Harvey Beesen, Ken Simpson and Lee & Associates' Doug Earnhardt represented the tenant. Colliers Seeley's Peter McWilliams and Ruben Goodsell represented Western.

Staff reporter Danny King can be reached at (323) 549-5225 ext. 230, or at

Shelly Garcia of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal contributed to this column.

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