The architecturally significant Oviatt and Fine Arts office buildings in downtown Los Angeles are included in a portfolio for sale that could fetch as much as $225 million.


Blue Real Estate, a Beverly Hills real estate investment firm, has listed a 13-property portfolio that cumulatively contains 820,000 square feet worth of office building space.


The properties, on average more than 90 percent leased, are located in markets ranging from downtown Los Angeles to Long Beach and from Beverly Hills to Pasadena.


The portfolio marks the first time Blue Real Estate has sold assets since founder Jim Reis opened the firm's doors more than 30 years ago.


"It's a prime time to sell," said Bob Safai, a principal with Madison Partners, the brokerage marketing the portfolio. "They are taking advantage of a solid real estate market."


Blue Real Estate manages properties on behalf of individual investors the firm recruits for specific deals. Desirable income-producing properties such as apartment and office buildings are typically too expensive for individual investors. In order to buy the properties, "syndicators" like Blue Real Estate, create a multiple ownership arrangement.


The properties for sale include:
& #8226; The Oviatt Building, a 107,000-square-foot structure at 617 S. Olive Street that is on the state and city registers of historic places.
& #8226; The Fine Arts Building, a 113,000-square-foot historic office building at 811 W. Seventh St., which houses two restaurants in ground floor retail locations.
& #8226; In downtown Long Beach, The L'Opera Building, a 69,000-square-foot building at 115 Pine Ave., and the City Centre Building, a 70,000-square-foot structure at 200 Pine Ave.
& #8226; A 42,500-square- foot Beverly Hills office building at 400 S. Beverly Drive that includes parking beneath the building and a separate parking lot at 405 S. Beverly Drive.
& #8226; In Pasadena's revitalized Old Town, a 106,000-square-foot office building at 234 E. Colorado Blvd. and the 49,000-square-foot Braley Building at 35 S. Raymond Ave.
& #8226; In Burbank, the Toluca Lake Medical Building at 3808 Riverside Drive, and a 26,000-square-foot office complex at 224 E. Olive Ave.
& #8226; A half retail and half garden-style office building at 17057-17071 Ventura Blvd. in Encino.
& #8226; A single-story building at 5000 Overland Ave. in Culver City and a two-story office building at 522 Sepulveda Blvd. in Brentwood.
& #8226; And in Fresno, the 151,000-square-foot Guarantee Financial Plaza at 1310-1330 E. Shaw Ave.


Musical Chairs
Music firm Line 6 Inc. is moving its U.S. headquarters from Agoura Hills and into the 60,000-square-foot Calabasas Tech Center.


In a 10-year lease worth $8 million to landlord Arden Realty Inc., Line 6 will at first move into 45,000 square feet at the Calabasas building at 26580 Agoura Road and has rights to take the remaining space.


Finding the right building had its challenges, according to Mark Sullivan, an executive vice president with Studley Inc., which represented the tenant in the lease.


"We had to find an office building with a space that could house multiple soundproof studios and music jam rooms for research, development and musicians," Sullivan said. "The challenge was delivering a building with these specifications in a market with very low vacancy due to its increasing popularity for corporate headquarters."


Line 6 designs recording equipment for the music industry and the company is known for its digital modeling effects, amps and guitars.


While music studios have seen their revenues sapped by piracy, Line 6 has found success in the recording side of the business. The company was founded in 1996 with 10 employees, but today the company employs more than 200. The rapid expansion caused Line 6 to outgrow its 38,000-square-foot headquarters at 29901 Agoura Road in Agoura Hills.


The Calabasas Tech Center is a 13.5-acre business park comprised of seven buildings. Other tenants include Strix Systems, the National Academy of Sports Medicine and Future Electronics. The center was sold last month by Arden Realty as part of its larger sale to a real estate subsidiary of GE Co.


In addition to Sullivan, Line 6 was represented by Studley's Josh Gorin and Andrew Lustgarten. Arden Realty was represented internally by Art Suazo and by CB Richard Ellis Group Inc.'s Matt Heyn.


Switching Rooms
A joint venture of Amstar Group and Davidson Hotel Co. purchased the 296-room Hilton Pasadena for $65 million.


The seller is a joint venture between Davidson Hotel and Washington, DC investment firm The Carlyle Group Inc. The firms teamed up to buy the hotel in May 2004 for $36 million and subsequently spent about $5 million fixing up the property.


Davidson Hotel will continue managing the property, which will continue operating under the Hilton flag. The new owners plan to invest $3 million in renovating the hotel's guest rooms, public areas and its 27,000 square feet of meeting space.


Amstar Group is a Denver based real estate private equity firm, while Davidson Hotel is a privately held Memphis-based hotel operator and investor. The two firms have purchased several other hotels under similar arrangements.


The Hilton Pasadena is located at 168 S. Los Robles Avenue, within walking distance of the Convention Center and Old Town. The hotel is also within five miles of the Rose Bowl.


Pasadena has remained a strong market for hotels, according to PKF Consulting, which tracks the hospitality industry. In October, the most recent month PKF has data available, hotels in Pasadena had average room rates of $158 and occupancy of 81 percent.


The sellers were represented by Arthur Buser, a managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels. Amstar was represented internally.


*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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