A two-building Playa Vista office complex has traded hands for $27 million in a rare sale for the submarket.

Downtown L.A. real estate firm Ocean West Capital Partners bought the 89,000-square-foot complex at 12555 Jefferson Blvd. from Dallas developer Lincoln Property Co. and a partner this month.

Lincoln acquired the complex for an undisclosed amount in a two-property portfolio purchase in 2010. The other property was a 120,000-square-foot office building in Moorpark now under contract to sell.

The 28-year-old Jefferson complex, comprising two connected buildings, was significantly renovated in 2008. It is 46 percent leased. Tenants include advertising company TBWA Chiat Day.

Lincoln received 14 bids for the property.

The sale is one of only a handful in the Playa Vista area in the last two years, and at $302 a square foot it comes in at less than half the May sale price of a four-building portfolio on Waterfront Drive that Hines bought from Tishman Speyer Properties LP for $643 a square foot, or $218 million total.

David Binswanger, executive vice president of Southern California at Lincoln, said the increasing strength of the market inspired it to list the complex.

“There’s a lot of momentum behind Playa Vista and we thought it was a good time for us to sell,” Binswanger said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for Ocean West and they have a lot of wind at their backs in terms of the macromarket.”

Indeed, Playa Vista is heating up. Video-game maker Riot Games Inc. is negotiating for up to 300,000 square feet at a nearby Lincoln building. Other creative companies, including YouTube LLC and Microsoft Inc., have signed leases in the neighborhood.

What’s more, Lincoln is under way on the development of a long-planned 200,000-square-foot mixed-use shopping center, the Runway at Playa Vista, that will include a Whole Foods grocery and a Cinemark theater. It will also have 420 apartments and 35,000 square feet of office space. The development is expected to provide the type of amenities that had been lacking in the Westside neighborhood and discouraging some other companies from moving in.

Bob Safai and Matt Case, of Madison Partners, represented the seller. Ocean West, which could not be reached for comment, represented itself.

Second Science

Science Inc. is expanding and moving its Santa Monica headquarters.

The technology incubator and investor is close to signing a four-year lease for 18,000 square feet at 1447 Second St. with landlord Beitler Commercial Realty Services.

Terms were not disclosed, but the average rental rates at the building are $3.50 a square foot monthly, which would put the deal around $3 million in total.

Science is led by Mike Jones, former chief executive of social network Myspace. It has been heavily investing in e-commerce companies such as Dollar Shave Club.

It has outgrown its 10,000-square-foot offices just steps away at 1410 Second St. but liked the neighborhood.

“They didn’t want to leave downtown Santa Monica,” said Randy Starr, principal at brokerage Avison Young Inc. who is representing Science in the deal. “That’s where their talent wants to work.”

Indeed, Santa Monica is a favorite of the booming tech industry, which has helped the beachside locale become one of the tightest submarkets in Los Angeles County. It had a vacancy rate of just more than 12 percent in the first quarter, the second lowest in the county, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.

Science plans to move into its new offices this fall.

Hospital Rehab

The first phase of the $40 million renovation of Boyle Heights’ historic Linda Vista Community Hospital has been completed.

Agoura Hills affordable-housing developer Amcal Multi-Housing converted a portion of the hospital into 23 apartment units for low-income seniors. It was scheduled to open last week.

The hospital was built in 1905 for Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railway workers but was razed and rebuilt in mission revival-style in 1924. It closed and was abandoned in 1991 and rumors persisted for years that it was haunted. It has since become a popular location for shooting feature films, television shows and music videos.

The building, a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the last decade.

Renovations, designed by Killefer Flammang Architects of Santa Monica, began last year. Amenities include a courtyard, community room and library. The second and final renovation phase, slated to begin by the end of the year, will add 97 more apartments for seniors.

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

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