Jamison Properties Inc. is buying three office buildings in the Airport Center complex near Los Angeles International Airport for about $71 million.

Jamison is purchasing the properties from a joint venture of General Electric Co.'s GE Real Estate and Jupiter Realty Corp. The partnership, which has invested $7 million into renovating the property since 1999, had the buildings on the market for only six weeks before securing the deal with Jamison.

The buildings are in the Airport Center, a master-planned park environment that includes two large hotels, several restaurants, a gym and 24-hour shuttle service to the airport.

Cumulatively, the Class B buildings at 5959 and 6151 W. Century Blvd. and 9841 Airport Blvd. contain 696,160 square feet of office space. The buildings are 67 percent leased, which is about average for the LAX/Century Blvd. submarket. Asking rents at the project average $1.40 a foot, not including parking.

The money-maker of the operation is the 4,100 parking spaces for LAX, which account for more than 30 percent of the project's revenue. As traffic at LAX generally rebounds, parking revenue growth has averaged nearly 14 percent for each of the last three years, according to a source familiar with the property.

"We see this mainly as a parking play," said David Lee, president of Jamison Properties. "As air travel continues to increase in the next several years, we should be able to get more parking money."

The three buildings are on 9.65 acres and have 58 years remaining on a ground lease. The site also contains a nearly 1-acre parcel fronting Century Boulevard that could be developed.

Along with Jamison's 357,817-square-foot Herbalife building at 9800 S. La Cienega Blvd., Lee's company will control about 27 percent of the office space in the airport submarket.

In that regard, the LAX acquisitions follow a common pattern for Jamison. The company controls large segments of office space in downtown Los Angeles and along Wilshire Boulevard in Wilshire Center.

"It's easier to manage things that way," Lee said. "There's less competition for tenants and it's not really a market anybody else wants to go into anyway."

Grubb & Ellis Co.'s Kevin Shannon and Chris Sinfield represented both sides in the transaction. The deal is expected to close Oct. 1.

Not for Classrooms
The Los Angeles Unified School District has inked a 10-year lease worth more than $25 million at 1055 W. Seventh St. in downtown Los Angeles.

The LAUSD will use much of the 117,000 square feet it's taking at 1055 W. Seventh St. to house departments being moved out of 355 S. Grand Ave., a high rise owned by Maguire Properties Inc. that the school district is leaving.

The remainder of the new location will serve as overflow space from the nearby LAUSD's headquarters building. Both office buildings are west of the Harbor (110) freeway.

The lease is a boon to Bristol Group Inc., owner of the 33-story tower that was the headquarters for Arco Products Co., a division of Atlantic Richfield Co. Arco was later acquired by British Petroleum PLC.

After sitting largely vacant since Arco's departure, Bristol Group's 615,000-square-foot building will be 82.6 percent leased after the LAUSD occupies its space.

Kent Borowick, Bristol's project manager for 1055 W. Seventh St., said the building is attracting renewed attention, thanks to revitalization in the area. Both the Medici apartment building and a high-end condo project at 1100 Wilshire Blvd. are nearby.

The landlord also recently renegotiated a 40,184-square-foot lease with Morris Polich & Purdy LLP. In exchange for the law firm extending its lease eight years, Bristol reduced the rent, retroactive to the original lease's signing. The extension is worth more than $7 million.

The LAUSD was represented by Trammell Crow Co.'s Onno Zwaneveld. Morris Polich & Purdy was represented by Cushman & Wakefield Inc.'s Ted Simpson and Scott Steuber. Bristol Group has retained CB Richard Ellis Inc.'s Eric Duncanson to handle leasing at the building.

Long Beach Dealing
Shooshani Developers LLC has purchased the 360,000-square-foot City Place mall in Long Beach from a joint venture of Developers Diversified Realty Corp. and Coventry Real Estate Partners for about $73.8 million.

The City Place retail development spans several city blocks in the heart of downtown Long Beach on the site of the former Long Beach Plaza, which had been razed.

City Center was built in phases between 2002 and 2004. A Diversified-led group sold-off an earlier grocery store-anchored phase of the project for $16.6 million. The larger phase sold to Shooshani is anchored by big box stores occupied by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Nordstrom Inc. and Ross Stores Inc.

Gwen MacKenzie of Sperry Van Ness' Irvine office represented Shooshani Developers and Todd Goodman, Preston Fetrow and Kirk Brummer of CB Richard Ellis's Newport Beach office represented the sellers.

The deal was first reported on real estate industry Web site GlobeSt.com.

Towering Deal
TA Associates Inc., a Boston-based pension fund advisor, is buying Computax Tower in Torrance for $69 million, according to sources close to the deal.

USAA Real Estate Co., the investment arm of San Antonio-based insurer USAA, sold the 291,561 square foot building at 21250 Hawthorne Blvd.

The building is 95 percent leased. Computax, a business unit of CCH Inc., accounts for 78 percent of the building. CCH is a subsidiary of Wolters Kluwer NV, one of Europe's largest business publishers.

Other tenants in the building, where asking rates average $2.25 a foot, include Bank of America Corp. and DaVita Inc.

Both sides in the transaction were represented by Grubb & Ellis' Chris Sinfield and Kevin Shannon.

*Staff reporter Andy Fixmer can be reached by phone at (323) 549-5225, ext. 263, or by e-mail at afixmer@labusinessjournal.com .

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