David Lee's Jamison Properties Inc. continued its investment in South Bay office buildings last week with a $34.2 million purchase of a 230,793-square-foot Long Beach portfolio.


One property in the two-building portfolio is located in downtown Long Beach, while the other is in Signal Hill.


In downtown Long Beach, Jamison paid $17.2 million for 555 E. Ocean Ave., a nine-story, 124,721-square-foot Class B office building that was 14 percent vacant at the time of the deal's closing.


The building is home to a well-known Long Beach establishment, 555 Restaurant. It's also near entertainment venues and restaurants at Shoreline Village, the Long Beach Convention Center and shops along a revitalized section of Pine Avenue.


In Signal Hill, Jamison paid $16.9 million for a 106,000-square-foot, low-rise business campus called Towne Center Office Park, located at 2501 and 2525 Cherry Ave. The campus, which is near the San Diego (405) Freeway and the Long Beach Airport, was 15 percent vacant at the time of the deal's closing.


While the South Bay market has continued to lag the region's overall office market as measured by vacancy rates, both submarkets downtown Long Beach and Signal Hill have vacancy rates near the L.A. County average of 11.4 percent, according to Grubb & Ellis Co.


Rents in the submarkets, however, are low compared to the L.A. County average asking rate of $2.52 a square foot., Grubb & Ellis has reported.


In September, Jamison Properties paid $71 million for three office buildings along Century Boulevard, near Los Angeles International Airport, that contain close to 700,000 square feet.


Along with its 360,000-square-foot building occupied by Herbalife Ltd., also near the airport, Jamison controls about 27 percent of the office space near LAX.


"We like the long term fundamentals of the Long Beach market area due to the increased influx of residential and retail development," said Lee, president of Jamison Properties.


CB Richard Ellis Inc.'s team led by Vice Chairman Kevin Shannon represented the sellers a private partnership and Jamison Properties in the transaction. Shannon was aided by Scott Schumacher, Paul Perkins, Michael Moore and Rob Hannan.


Santa Monica Dealing
Ten West Wilshire LLC has purchased the recently constructed, mixed-use residential project in Santa Monica called the Tides Building from the Tides Building LLC for $18.7 million.


Ten West Wilshire bought the building under a 1031 Exchange, where an investor sells one property and re-invests the proceeds into a like property of equal value to delay paying federal taxes.


Completed two years ago, the Tides is a three-story, 36,500-square-foot concrete and steel structure at Fourth Street and Santa Monica Boulevard near the city's Third Street Promenade.


The mixed-use project is 100 percent leased and retail tenants on the first and second floors include Leonidas Chocolates, Lululemon Athletica and Burke Williams Spa. The third story consists of six townhouse-style apartments.


Mitch Stokes, a principal at Madison Partners, represented both sides in the deal.


Going Condo
Cedar Management, a private investment firm, paid $56.5 million for two Glendale apartment buildings that the company intends to convert into condominiums.


The firm paid $36 million for the Grand Villas, a recently renovated 127-unit building that sits on a nearly 3-acre lot at 1717 N. Verdugo Road, and it paid $20.5 million for Penn Villas, a 96-unit building at 3220 Altura Ave.


Glendale Partners LLC is the seller of the Grand Villas and Altura 96 LLC is the seller of Penn Villas. Both apartment buildings already have tract maps that divide the units into separate properties.


CB Richard Ellis' Team Lustig-Bower, led by Executive Vice President Laurie Lustig-Bower, represented the buyer and the sellers in both transactions.


Lustig-Bower said apartment building owners are more frequently looking to convert their properties into condos to take advantage of the region's sizzling real estate market.


"Since condominium prices have risen dramatically in the past two years, many apartment buildings are worth substantially more than their current value as an income-producing asset, if they can be converted to condominiums," she said. "We are seeing a trend in that many of our clients are assessing whether or not their apartment buildings are candidates for conversion. With the final tract maps in place, both Grand Villas and Penn Villas are well positioned for conversion to condominium units."


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

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.