Jamison Services Inc., Dr. David Lee’s Koreatown real estate investment vehicle, has continued to pare back its holdings, striking a deal to sell Westwood Terrace for $54 million.
Jamison, once the largest office landlord in Los Angeles County, is selling the Westside building to downtown L.A. real estate investment and services firm Ocean West Capital Partners LLC. The deal is expected to close this month.
Jamison acquired the 145,000-square-foot, five-story property at 1640 S. Sepulveda Blvd. for $53 million in 2008.
The sale price, about $372 a square foot, falls in the middle of the range of Westside sales this year.
Ocean West’s portfolio includes a recently purchased 89,365-square-foot Playa Vista office building at 12555 Jefferson Blvd. It also owns the Tribeca West office complex in West Los Angeles.
The firm is planning a significant renovation of Westwood Terrace, converting it to open-layout creative office space, popular with the Westside’s booming tech, entertainment and media industries.
“The building has great bones and is set up with large terraces, balconies and patios on each floor,” said Troy Miller, principal at Ocean West. “Our plan is to reposition it to give the building an identity.”
The building is about 65 percent occupied by professional firms, Miller said.
Jamison, which expanded rapidly in the boom years, has been selling off a substantial portion of its office portfolio. In the last year alone, it has sold more than a dozen properties across the county, including North Hollywood’s Academy Tower and the Macy’s Plaza in downtown Los Angeles. Bloomberg News reported recently that Jamison decided to convert five of its Koreatown office buildings into apartments.
Though Jamison still retains its long-held title as largest office landlord title by building count, the sales have dropped the company’s portfolio to less than 8.5 million square feet, putting it behind New York’s Blackstone Group LP’s Equity Office Properties as the largest office owner as ranked by square footage.
CBRE Group Inc., which holds the property listing, declined to comment. Jamison officials did not return a request for comment.
Whole Foods Market Inc. is in the final stages of negotiations to open its first downtown L.A. location – again.
After years of searching for the right location, the Austin, Texas-based high-end grocery chain plans to open a shop at a proposed mixed-use, 700-apartment development at Eighth Street and Grand Avenue, sources told the Business Journal.
It’s not clear how much space the grocer would occupy in San Francisco developer Carmel Partners’ project, which includes about 36,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. Whole Foods’ stores average about 38,000 square feet.
Whole Foods has been searching for tens of thousands of square feet of downtown space since at least 2010. It was in negotiations to take the entire 31,000-square-foot first floor at 845 S. Figueroa St. for a store and to lease office space there as well. But the deal unraveled in 2011 when John Mackey, its chief executive, felt it was premature to open a store in the still-developing neighborhood.
Downtown was considered a food desert until Ralphs opened a store there in 2007. Other grocers, including Smart & Final Inc., which agreed to take the space at 845 S. Figueroa, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., have since announced they’ll open sites in downtown as well.
Though it is planning to open a retail location, Whole Foods no longer appears to be looking for office space in the downtown area. Last year, it signed a lease for 45,000 square feet on Goode Avenue in Glendale; the company will shift its local offices there from Sherman Oaks.
Michael Soto, a research manager at brokerage Transwestern downtown, said that Whole Foods would be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
“While there has been a lot of speculation about them opening a store in downtown for at least a few years now, it could be that they realized that with other well-known names such as Target, Smart & Final and Zara recently coming to downtown, now might be the time to finally pull the trigger,” he said.
Accounting firm Hutchinson and Bloodgood LLP is moving to a bigger spread in Glendale.
The company signed a 10-year deal for 18,000 square feet at 550 N. Brand Blvd. with landlord Clarion Partners LLC last month. It is moving from offices only blocks away, at 101 N. Brand, where it occupied about 12,000 square feet for the last decade.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but average monthly rates in the building are $2.75 a square foot, according to CoStar Group Inc., which would value the deal at about $5.9 million.
The company will take the 14th floor in the building and will move in November.
Pete Weir, partner in charge at the firm, said the company has been looking to expand after merging with the L.A. office of accounting firm PKF California last year and has found its current space a bit snug for its 65 employees.
Bill Boyd, at Charles Dunn Co. Inc.’s Glendale office, represented the tenant. Clarion represented itself in-house.
Staff reporter Jacquelyn Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (323) 549-5225, ext. 228.
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