Since purchasing 5900 Wilshire Blvd. in December 2005, Los Angeles-based Ratkovich Co. has embarked on an aggressive remodel of the office tower to bring it up to Class A standards.


While the development company's $28 million improvement of the 32-story office tower's infrastructure is nearly complete, a new phase of renovations is set to break ground.


Ratkovich has hired Venice-based architecture firm Greg Lynn Form to design a restaurant pavilion and gateway area at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Ogden Drive that will complement the new grand entrance of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art under construction across the street.


"We will reach out to the boulevard with new landscaping and the pavilion to connect the building to the boulevard," said Wayne Ratkovich, president of Ratkovich Co. "We think it'll become an incredibly important corner on the Miracle Mile."


The pavilion project, expected to break ground within a few months, should cost about $7 million and take about a year to complete.


Greg Lynn, who heads his namesake architecture firm, said that the centerpiece of the pavilion will be its unique trellis system made of either concrete and plaster or brushed aluminum.


"We want to activate that plaza and get people out in the landscape," said Lynn, an architecture professor at the University of California Los Angeles. "We wanted to get something that would let the light go through so it's not covered."


The new pavilion will feature a casual restaurant and Ratkovich is in talks with possible operators. Plans are to add a second restaurant in a satellite building at the east end of the parcel that currently houses the Architecture and Design Museum. Ratkovich said that he hopes the museum will remain at the building, but plans to relocate it to make way for the "white table cloth restaurant." Ratkovich said he is in talks with national and local operators for that eatery.


EMI Leaves

In October, EMI Music North America signed a 10-year lease for 50,000 square feet at 1800 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood.


But the firm never moved into its space at the Class A office building owned by CIM Group Inc.


And it never will.


After London-based EMI Group PLC announced that it would merge its Capitol and Virgin labels under the Capitol Music Group name, the company's real estate priorities changed, said Mark T. Sullivan, executive vice president at Studley Inc., who represented EMI in the lease along with Josh Gorin.


"It looks like the (EMI) entities are going to find space in the Capitol Records building," Sullivan said.


EMI will not back out of the $17.5 million lease; instead it will sublease its space. "We made a very competitive deal for the time. The market has moved some since we made the deal, and we are very confident in our ability to sublease the space," Sullivan said.


The 50,000-square-foot space is currently the largest contiguous block of office space on the market in Hollywood, Sullivan said.


Calls to EMI seeking comment were not returned.


Northridge Lease

Aret & #233; Associates, an engineering firm, has signed a 15-year lease in Northridge for just over 84,000 square feet at 9301 Corbin Ave.


The company, based in Sherman Oaks, will move into its new space in June. Renovations at the three-story office building which are expected to bring it up to Class A level should be completed ahead of Aret & #233;'s scheduled move in date, said Alan Gecht of Corporate Realty Associates Inc., who represented Aret & #233; on the deal with Alliance Commercial Partners LLC.


The value of the lease was not disclosed, though the going rate for similar space in Northridge is about $2.15 per square foot per month.


Jeremy Dee of Corporate Realty Associates also represented Aret & #233;, and David Solomon and Bennett Robinson of CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. represented the landlord.


The deal closed the last week of December.


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

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