After selling off more than 10 percent of its portfolio, Jamison Services Inc. has lost its position as the largest private office landlord in Los Angeles.

Its recent downsizing, spurred by a declining rental market, now makes the company’s portfolio apparently the second largest by square feet, though it still owns more buildings than its competitors.

Jamison, an investment vehicle for Dr. David Lee, built up its holdings during the frenzied expansion of the real estate market in the last decade, accumulating at its peak an impressive 111 properties in Los Angeles County along with 20 more in other parts of Southern California and Texas.

Now it is reversing that trend, having sold at least 13 properties in little more than a year. The latest is the February sale of a 17,583-square-foot retail building at 400-422 S. Broadway in downtown’s Historic Core to developer Izek Shomof for $10.1 million.

Other notable properties it has parted with include the well-known North Hollywood Academy Tower and Macy’s Plaza downtown.

In all, Jamison has offloaded 1.57 million square feet. That brings its total to roughly 8.5 million square feet and now places it behind New York Blackstone Group LP’s Equity Office Properties, which has 9.5 million square feet in 22 buildings here. Hines of Houston apparently is in third place with 5.7 million square feet in 21 properties in Los Angeles County.

However, Jamison is believed to remain the largest private office landlord by building count.

New strategy

Jamison operated for years under a long-term hold strategy, rarely if ever selling any of its properties, most of which were concentrated in Koreatown and Mid-Wilshire.

But as the economy crashed and commercial office market shifted, Lee has taken a new approach: sell when the right offer is made. It’s a strategy that first came to light last year, when at least two of its properties fell into default and a portfolio of five buildings was sold to Beverly Hills’ real estate firm Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc.

Since then, Jamison has sold an additional eight buildings, and has at least one property in default with a loan balance of more than $40.7 million. Most of the sold properties were underperforming and all were outside of its core Koreatown market. It is actively marketing three properties and is entertaining offers as they come.

Scott Burrin, Jamison’s managing director, said the strategy has been working for the company, with some buildings selling for a profit.


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