Walt Disney Co. chief executive Robert Iger is planning to sell off a small piece of the Magic Kingdom.

The company wants to capitalize on the high prices being paid for L.A. County office buildings and has hired brokerage Eastdil Secured to market its Burbank office tower one of the city's tallest high-rises.

The building, located at 3800 W. Alameda Ave., houses the Disney ABC Cable Networks Group, which owns and operates cable television channels for parent ABC a Walt Disney subsidiary.

The group's channels include ABC Family, the Disney Channel whose name is on top of the building, JETIX Europe, SOAPnet and Toon Disney. It also holds stakes in ESPN, A & E;, E! Entertainment Television and Lifetime.

Calls to Disney and Eastdil Secured representatives weren't immediately returned.

"It's a hugely significant building," said Tom Bohlinger, senior vice president at brokerage CB Richard Ellis Inc. who specializes in the Tri-Cities submarket, which includes Burbank. "It's a fabulous building that's extremely well located."

It's unclear if the Disney ABC Cable Network Group plans on remaining in the 425,000-square-foot tower where it leases most of the space after the building is sold.

The group could relocate to the Glendale corporate campus, where Disney is putting the finishing touches on a first phase of office buildings.

Even if the Burbank tower were empty, the 21-story tower is expected to fetch at least $400 a foot. At that price, the white tower with green trim would at a minimum command $170 million.

If the group stays put and inks a long-term market lease, the building could command a square-foot price in the upper $400 range raising the sales price upwards of $200 million.

The building was completed by a partnership of John Cushman and insurance giant MetLife Inc. in 1984. Disney was an early tenant at the property and purchased the building in 1992 for about $100 million.

Bohlinger said many corporations are considering selling their real estate to capitalize on the appreciation and then entering into long-term leasebacks.

"A lot of buyers today are looking at how prices have increased over the last few years," Bohlinger said. "All of a sudden they realize they're sitting on an asset that's worth 50 to 60 percent more than a few years ago. It would make anyone question whether it's the right time to sell."

Less Talented
After months of speculation, International Creative Management Inc. has finalized a lease that will have the Beverly Hills talent agency relocate to MGM Plaza in Century City.

ICM is subleasing just under 100,000 square feet of office space from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., which downsized its operations after a coalition of private equity firms, Sony Corp. and Comcast Corp., purchased the studio last year.

The talent agency signed an 11-year lease with a total consideration that's worth just under $50 million, the sources said. At those prices, ICM is paying about $3.75 a foot.

"It is a significant deal in every way," said Gary Weiss, a partner at brokerage Madison Partners, who wasn't involved in the ICM deal but represented powerhouse Creative Artists Agency in its lease at 2000 Avenue of the Stars.

CAA was the first talent agency to decide it would depart Beverly Hills for a Century City high-rise. Now with ICM following, Century City is growing clout as a market for talent agencies.

Still, some agencies are staying put in Beverly Hills. United Talent Agency inked a long-term lease in the city, and the venerable William Morris Agency Inc. has floated the idea with city officials of a new build-to-suit headquarters.

Even so, the ICM lease saps up a large vacancy hanging over the Century City market, where landlords had worried the MGM space and the addition of 2000 Avenue of the Stars would create leasing headaches.

"This takes significant pieces of space of the market," said Weiss, who specializes on Century City leasing. "It's been rumored for months but it's still a great day for Century City."

Still, Weiss said he was surprised ICM would agree to go into a building carrying signage of another entertainment company. "It's not just entertainment companies, all businesses are like that," he said. "For example, law firms usually don't want to go into buildings with a competitor's name on top of it."

Cushman & Wakefield Inc. represented ICM and CB Richard Ellis represented MGM in the negotiations.

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

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