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."
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