CresaPartners brokers Dave Toomey and Brian Davies had considerable leverage with Equity Office Properties in a recent lease they negotiated for Singer Lewak Greenbaum & Goldstein LLP. They put that leverage to work, getting the accounting services and consulting firm a favorable renewal.

The 10-year deal for the entire seventh floor of 10960 Wilshire Blvd. in Westwood is valued at $9.81 million. The 25,258-square-foot lease starts at $3 per square foot per month on a full-service gross basis and escalates annually by 3 percent.

That’s below the asking rate of $3.85 per square foot per month for the upper floors and the $3.25-$3.50 asking rate for the lower floors of the 24-story building.

It’s also less than two leases signed in the Class A building late last year. Those leases, for tenants Nigro Karlin Segal & Feldstein LLP and Wasserman Media Group, started in the low-$3-per-square-foot range.

Broker Hunt Barnett, who represented Equity Office, said the CresaPartners brokers had knowledge of those transactions.

“These folks had a very good broker and knew terms of the Nigro Karlin and Wasserman deals and they negotiated for some of those things,” said Barnett of L.A. Realty Partners.

Singer Lewak’s brokers employed another tactic. In 2009 they exercised an early termination clause in the accounting firm’s lease. By exercising the right, the lease, slated to end summer 2013, reset to terminate this summer.

“It allowed us to seriously evaluate all of the viable options in the marketplace,” Toomey said. “Equity Office had to take us seriously and offer us a compelling deal.”

The accounting firm downsized by about 12,000 square feet. It is moving from floors 11 and 12 once construction of its new offices is completed later this year.

Equity Office declined to comment.

Peter Best, Beau Rawi and Karly Nolen of L.A. Realty also represented the landlord.

Tough Deal

Multifamily real estate investment firm Westgate Group Inc. was recently forced to sell a 98-unit apartment complex it built in 2009 in Sherman Oaks after being unable to get permanent financing to replace the project’s construction loan.

The May 22 transaction underscores the notion that despite some improvement in the economy, credit markets remain tight while the rental market is still soft.

John Lu, owner of the West L.A. company, said he would have liked to retain the building at 15357 Magnolia Blvd. until the market recovered. Instead, he sold to real estate investor Avi Rojany for $23 million.


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