A portfolio of three prominent Beverly Hills office buildings – UTA Plaza and its neighbor the Ice House – was sold late last month for $210 million, or about $910 a square foot, according to a real estate source with knowledge of the deal.

The buildings, home to headquarters offices for United Artists Talent Agency, Playboy Enterprises and Live Nation Entertainment Inc., were purchased by Rockefeller Group Investment Management Corp. of New York on July 31 from Tishman Speyer, also of New York.

UTA Plaza, built in 1985 at 9336 and 9346 Civic Center Drive, consists of two four-story buildings connected by a sky bridge. The 190,000-square-foot complex, which previously served as headquarters for Hilton Hotels Corp., was renamed in 2011 when the talent agency signed its lease. Nearby Ice House, at 9348 Civic Center, was built in 1925 and converted from a cold storage plant to offices in the mid-’90s. It is also four stories tall, holding about 45,000 square feet. Concert promoter Live Nation moved into the building in 2006.

When Tishman acquired the buildings in two separate sales in 2011, only the Ice House was occupied. All three buildings, now fully leased, had recently undergone renovations overseen by downtown L.A. architectural firm Shimoda Design Group.

Dennis Irvin, chief executive of Rockefeller Group Investment Management, said he was attracted to the 3.4-acre portfolio for several reasons.

“These are distinctive properties in an established institutional market,” he said in a statement. “They represent premier assets with prominent tenants in a highly desirable submarket with supply constraints, all of which combine to offer stability, liquidity and good long-term prospects.”

Brokerage Eastdil Secured represented the seller in the deal; the buyer handled negotiations internally.

Chinese Catch

Shenzhen Hazens Real Estate Group Co., one of the largest development companies in China, has purchased the Luxe City Center Hotel and two adjacent parcels for $105 million.

The hotel property, at 1020 S. Figueroa St., was sold by Beverly Hills developer Emerik Properties Corp.

The 178-room hotel, which sits on about eight-tenths of an acre across the street from the Staples Center and L.A. Live, is the second the Chinese firm has purchased in Los Angeles in the last year. Shenzhen Hazens bought the 802-room Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel near Los Angeles International Airport for $96 million in December.

Once a Holiday Inn, the Luxe hotel opened with the West L.A. boutique hotel flag four years ago after a $10 million renovation. Shenzhen Hazens might tear down the hotel to build a larger, fancier hotel, but not for several years, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the transaction.

Efrem Harkham, chief executive of Luxe Hotels, said the new ownership signed a contract with the hotel brand last month to keep the Luxe flag flying for at least five more years.

“There are no immediate plans for Luxe to be torn down, so we look forward to continuing to be there,” he said.

The buyer also plans to spend at least $250 million to develop condos and an office tower on the adjacent vacant land.

Shenzhen Hazens’ entry into the downtown development market is the latest in a recent flood of investment by Chinese investors. Beijing developer Oceanwide Real Estate Group purchased the 4.6-acre site known as Fig Central, across from Staples Center, for $175 million in December. The next month, Shanghai developer Greenland Group purchased the 6.3-acre Metropolis site at the northwest corner of Eighth and Francisco streets.

Downtown Deal

A 12-story creative office building near downtown Los Angeles just south of the 10 freeway has sold for $19 million.

An entity controlled by L.A. investors Kaveh Bral and Moiez Benyaminov purchased the 182,500-square-foot building at 155 W. Washington Blvd. from Foster City investor Leslie Keyak.

The multitenant Class C office building, constructed in 1927, had been renovated in 2010 and includes 70 covered parking spaces. The building was about 97 percent leased to short-term tenants at the time of sale.

John Anthony, a senior managing director at Charles Dunn Co., represented the seller in the deal. He said the buyer was attracted to the building’s upside potential.

“With current demand for creative office space in Los Angeles and the beginning resurgence of this pocket of downtown, the property was a strong value-add opportunity for an investor looking to capitalize on the short-term existing leases at below-market rents,” he said.

Christopher Steck of Charles Dunn also represented the seller in the deal; the buyer handled negotiations internally.

Staff reporter Bethany Firnhaber can be reached at bfirnhaber@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 549-5225, ext. 235.

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