Arden Realty Inc. has sold one of its three remaining buildings at a Calabasas office project to an owner-user. The building had sat largely vacant for nearly a year.

Arden, a unit of General Electric Co.'s GE Real Estate division, sold the 36,660-square-foot building in the Calabasas Commerce Center for $7 million. It was purchased by Kasower Properties LLC, an entity controlled by the owners of Mighty Net Inc., a credit information company that owns the CreditReport.com Web site.

The April 27 deal for the property at 26010 Mureau Road breaks down to $191 per square foot, reflecting the real estate crash. Buildings in good local markets were commanding more than $250 per square foot as recently as a year ago.

A law firm and insurance agency lease space in the building, but most of its 30,000 square feet have been vacant. From the start, prospective owner-users were targeted, said Marc Spellman of brokerage Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services, who represented Arden.

"The investment community wasn't a prospect for these buildings because the financing was a challenge, whereas as owner-users (could) if they can acquire it at reasonable terms," Spellman said.

Mighty Net will move into its portion of the two-story building later this month.

The building is one of seven in the Calabasas Commerce Center, developed by Ahmanson Commercial Development in 1989. Arden had owned four buildings in the center, but sold one in December, leaving it with three until this recent sale.

An Arden spokeswoman said in an e-mail that "the sale of our Calabasas asset was a great opportunity for us and for our buyer," declining further comment.

Robert Erickson of Lee & Associates also represented Arden. Jeff Gould and Jeff Albee of Sperry Van Ness Real Estate Services Inc. represented the buyer.

Government Lease

Government business is a safe haven during recessions, and the U.S. General Services Administration has been particularly kind in recent months around the South Bay.

In March, the Business Journal reported that the GSA inked a 15-year lease for a 32,980-square-foot building in El Segundo. The agency has signed another deal this time for 47,088 square feet in an L.A. neighborhood next to Torrance.

The 10-year lease at 20700 Denker Ave. closed in March. The value of the transaction with landlord First Industrial Acquisitions, a unit of Chicago-based industrial developer First Industrial Realty Trust Inc., was not disclosed. The GSA's planned use for the space also was not identified.

With the deal, which starts in September, the 82,890-square-foot industrial facility is fully leased.

Frank Schulz, the Klabin Co. broker representing both parties, said that First Industrial will make "substantial" property improvements.

Sanko Electronics America Inc., an automotive parts manufacturer, recently signed a three-year extension at the property and occupies the balance of the building.

"Having a building that is 100 percent leased for the next three years is a big positive for First Industrial," Schulz said.

David Prior and Todd Taugner of Klabin represented both sides of the transaction.



Trader Caruso

Developer Rick Caruso's company has leased out the ground floor of his luxury apartment project at 8500 Burton Way, even with the economy in the tank and the project yet to receive final approval.

Grocer Trader Joe's has agreed to a long-term lease for the entire ground floor of the eight-story building near La Cienega and San Vicente boulevards being developed by Caruso Affiliated.

"I love Trader Joe's; it's a great operator. I'd like to have more of them in my properties," said Caruso, noting that with the closure of a nearby Ralphs at the Beverly Connection shopping mall, the area needs a supermarket.

The lease for about 13,500 square feet of ground-floor space is subject to the building getting final approval. The project already has been approved by L.A.'s Planning Commission, and should be reviewed by the City Council in June, Caruso said.

If the project is approved by the council in June, construction could begin a year later. It would take about 24 months to build the 88-unit apartment project, which features a roof-top pool.

Doubling Up Downtown

Hip clothing company People's Liberation Inc., which designs Justin Timberlake's William Rast clothing brand, has inked two leases in downtown Los Angeles.

People's Liberation signed a three-year deal for 13,000 square feet of headquarters office space at 1212 S. Flower St. and a one-year lease for 7,000 square feet of warehouse space at 1226 S. Flower St. The deals closed in February and the company occupied both buildings at the end of that month.

The adjacent buildings are owned by local real estate developer Kor Group, which has its headquarters at the 1212 S. Flower St. property. The value of the office deal is about $1 million; the value of the warehouse deal wasn't disclosed.

John Zanetos and Nico M. Vilgiate of CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. represented the landlord. The tenant was represented by John Mudgett and Gary Weiss of Madison Partners.

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

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