Three lease deals have been completed at Wilshire Courtyard in the Miracle Mile area.


The two-building property at 5700 and 5750 Wilshire Blvd. has new tenants in Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and the Trustees of Boston University. AEG Live LLC has signed a lease renewal at the nearly 1 million-square-foot office complex.


Improvements made to the Miracle Mile the stretch of Wilshire between La Brea Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard have made it more attractive for tenants, according to Brad Feld of Madison Partners.


"There was a median beautification program a couple of years ago, and a lot of the buildings have been renovated," said Feld, who represented RREEF, a San Francisco-based real estate manager that has owned the property for about four years. "The Miracle Mile has gained a lot of momentum over the last couple of years."


The vacancy rate in the 6 million-square-foot Miracle Mile submarket was 9.8 percent in the third quarter, Feld said.


All three of the lease deals feature average rental rates of about $3.50 a foot per month.


The Business Journal also is a tenant at the property.


Details of the three deals:


- Ogilvy signed a five-year lease for 26,470 square feet on the fifth floor at 5700 Wilshire. The deal, which closed in mid-November, is valued at $5.8 million. The New York City-based firm is leaving its local Beverly Hills offices and will move in April 1.


Rob Waller of CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. represented Ogilvy in the deal.


- AEG Live LLC, an entity of Anschutz Entertainment Group, signed a $6 million renewal and expansion at 5750 Wilshire. With the 28,946-square-foot deal, the company is taking an additional 8,212 square feet on the building's fifth floor. The deal closed in November and AEG Live, a concert promoter and touring company, will occupy the space in January.


Anschutz Entertainment is building the $2.5 billion L.A. Live development in downtown L.A.


"They could have moved downtown to their own projects, but they decided they really like their space and committed for another five years," Feld said.


AEG Live represented itself in-house on the deal.


- The Trustees of Boston University signed a $1.15 million, five-year lease for 5,465 square feet at 5700 Wilshire. The deal closed in November and Boston University will move into its space on the sixth floor in February. The university will use the offices for theater and entertainment education.


"They had classroom space at Park La Brea and were testing classes and found they wanted to make a commitment to L.A.," said Feld.


Brad Wilson of Grubb & Ellis Co. represented the university in the deal. Chris Keller of Madison Partners also represented the landlord in the deals along with Mark McAdams of RREEF.


Downtown Dirt Moves


The first bit of construction activity at the $2 billion, mixed-use Grand Avenue project has begun.


On Dec. 3, workers began performing lead-paint abatement in the parking structure at the site, next to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The parking structure will be demolished in February to make way for the first phase of the project, which will include housing, retail development and park.


Project developer Related Cos. of New York City plans a formal groundbreaking ceremony in February, but Related of California President Bill Witte said that beginning work Dec. 3 as planned was an important step.


Maguire Maneuvers

Drama continued to envelop local real estate investment trust Maguire Properties Inc. last week as it was announced that the company would form a committee to explore strategic alternatives, which include the sale of the company.


The committee will include independent directors but not Chief Executive Robert Maguire. The announcement came as the REIT industry speculates on the future of Maguire Properties, whose stock has tumbled this year.


Barry Vinocur, editor of REIT Zone, a widely read industry publication, said he thought there was an 80 percent chance that the company would be sold in the next six months, even though a possible sale last year never took place.


"I think you are hard pressed to find anybody that thinks Rob (Maguire) has done a great job," he said. "Some people say you could put someone else in there and maybe you could save the company; you just need to get Rob out of there."


Maguire Properties is the largest landlord in downtown L.A.


Hedge funds that have seen their holdings lose value control nearly a third of the shares.


"If the hedge funds wage a proxy battle, I haven't talked to anybody outside of Maguire's people who don't think it's a 100 percent chance that he would lose," Vinocur said.


A Maguire spokesperson declined to comment.


JMB Capital Partners LP, a hedge fund that has stock in the company, asked Maguire Properties in November to form a committee to explore a sale of the company.


The stock price was up 11 percent to $28.06 on Dec. 12 after the announcement of the committee. Shares closed at $28.55 on Dec 13., off 36 percent from their 52-week high.


According to Bloomberg News, one analyst rated the stock a buy, four rated it a sell and nine rated it a hold.


Staff reporter Daniel Miller can be reached at dmiller@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 549-5225, ext. 263.

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