A Chase Bank branch will replace the Marie Callender’s restaurant in Toluca Lake next year.

JP Morgan Chase & Co. bought the 10050 Riverside Drive property late last month for $4 million from L.A.’s Phoenix Mortgage Corp. The 6,000-square-foot building, built in 1969, last sold in 2003.

Phoenix owns both the land and the Marie Callender’s franchise, which has operated for decades at that location. However, the outlet had been struggling, so Phoenix decided to sell. The restaurant chain, based in Mission Viejo, will be left with 23 locations in Los Angeles County and 69 statewide.

The property had been on the market since about February, and was in escrow for six months, according to CoStar Group Inc.

While there are Chase branches in nearby Burbank and North Hollywood, this will be the first outpost in Toluca Lake. The bank intends to demolish the restaurant and open a roughly 4,000-square-foot branch in the first quarter of next year.

The New York bank has been rapidly expanding in California after acquiring Washington Mutual Inc. in 2008, through a mixture of owned and leases spaces.

The bank opened 59 branches across the state this year and now has 879 in California. The company opened 25 in the county this year, bringing its total in the region to 225. In December alone, it opened branches in Redondo Beach, Long Beach, Pasadena and Van Nuys, among other locations.

Chase has already received its entitlements for the Toluca Lake branch and has filed for permits to start construction early next year, according to Arthur Arejian, managing member of L.A.’s Vanguard Investments Inc., who represented the seller.

Close Quarters

Guitar Center Inc. is expanding to a new headquarters in Thousand Oaks as the company continues to open stores and hire more employees.

The company is taking nearly 43,000 square feet at LBA Realty LLC’s Lakeview Corporate Center, 112 S. Lakeview Canyon. Industry sources pegged the six-year deal at $5.7 million.

The musical instrument and equipment company’s existing headquarters is in 100,000 square feet of offices at 5775-5795 Lindero Canyon Road in Westlake Village. It also occupies some industrial space in that location.

The new location was chosen because Guitar Center wanted to keep its offices near each other and wanted to close a deal by the end of the year. The offices are less than 2 miles apart. The company has already started moving in to the second office.

Gary Horwitz, downtown L.A. managing director for Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., represented Guitar Center. He said that the company’s quick expansion provided urgency to getting a deal done by the end of the year.

“We needed to find a home for these employees, so we focused on finding a landlord who could perform quickly and could fund the necessary tenant improvements,” Horwitz said.

Other tenants in the Thousand Oaks building include New York’s Verizon Communications Inc. and Falls Church, Va., defense contractor General Dynamics Corp.

Guitar Center also was represented by Jones Lang LaSalle Managing Director Jim Lindvall and Vice President Kamil Agha. NAI Capital Inc. Executive Vice President Lee Black and Vice President Jared Smits represented LBA Realty.

New Century Deal

In another recent headquarters move, Danning Gill Diamond & Kollitz LLP is moving into smaller offices in Century City.

The bankruptcy law firm is leasing the entire 11th floor, or about 22,000 square feet, at 1900 Avenue of the Stars. Terms with landlord Duesenberg Investment Co. were not disclosed, but the deal is valued at $5.5 million, according to sources.

The new lease represents a 4,000-square-foot reduction from its office space at 2029 Century Park East, where it has been for more than 15 years.

Mike Catalano, executive vice president at Studley Inc. in West Los Angeles, who represented the firm, said the decision to trim the lease size is in line with industry trends.

“Companies and law firms continue to strive to be more profitable and one way is to lower your bottom line and that can be done through taking less square feet and being more efficient,” Catalano said.

However, the 45-employee firm will still occupy an entire floor, which was important to the company’s image, he said.

Other tenants in the building include Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP and market research company Lieberman Research Worldwide Co.

Landlord Duesenberg was represented by Topa Management Co.’s Darren Bell.

Staff reporter Jacquelyn Ryan can be reached at jryan@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 549-5225, ext. 228.

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