After many years of delay, an eight-story office building on Vine Street at Selma Avenue – in the heart of heavy Hollywood development activity – will soon break ground.

Miracle Mile developer J.H. Snyder Co. received building permits last week for a $60 million project at 1601 Vine St., and founder Jerry Snyder said he expected to have shovels in the ground in late July or early August once he received grading permits.

“We hope to start construction in the next 30 to 40 days,” he said.

The project, expected to be completed in about two years, will feature 105,000 square feet of office space with high ceilings and open floor plans and about 2,000 square feet of retail space along Vine, “the size of a Starbucks,” Snyder said.

Construction on the project will come after years of controversy over the nearly half-acre site. In 2006, Santa Monica developer Hal Katersky and his Pacifica Ventures purchased the site for $5.4 million, then turned around and sold it to the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles for the same price about two months later. When the CRA then offered to resell the property to Katersky in 2010 for a mere $825,000, the community pushed back. Katersky’s plans for the property – similar in scope to what will be built by Snyder – eventually fell through, and Chicago real estate firm New Vista Investment Group purchased the property in 2011. Snyder acquired the property from New Vista last summer.

The proposed office building, which will sit a block south of Hollywood Boulevard and cater-corner from Camden Property Trust’s $140 million apartment complex, will be the second Hollywood project for Snyder this year. In March, he began construction on a 245,000-square-foot low-rise office park at 959 Seward St.

Patrick Church and Anneke Greco of Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., who handle leasing for 959 Seward, are also expected to handle leasing for the Vine property.

“We know there are a tremendous number of tenants in the Hollywood area who are in older buildings that are looking for creative space,” he said. “We’re getting a lot of activity at our Seward project with very large tenants, so we think we’ll do very well.”

Hawthorne Hustle

Antenna company ThinKom Solutions Inc. will soon move and triple the size of its corporate headquarters in the South Bay.

The Torrance company, which makes compact broadband antennas that give airplanes in-flight Internet service, signed a seven-year lease earlier this month for 74,700 square feet at OceanGate Business Park in Hawthorne. ThinKom will occupy the entire building at 4881 W. 145th St., one of several Class B industrial warehouse buildings in the expansive park. Landlord St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance, a division of Travelers Insurance, recently renovated the buildings to offer tenants more flexible space. The move, expected in January, will be a significant expansion for the company, which occupies only about 24,000 square feet at 20000 Mariner Ave.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Chris Strickfaden, a managing director for Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. who represented the tenant, said monthly rents for industrial-flex properties in the area tend to be around a dollar a foot or less. At that rate, a seven-year lease for 74,700 square feet would be valued at about $6.3 million.

Strickfaden said the company’s decision to move and expand stemmed from its desire to oversee more of its manufacturing on site, and from an expectation that business will continue to grow. Its technology is used by popular Wi-Fi service provider GoGo on flights for a range of airlines.

“Basically, they have been outsourcing some of their light assembly and manufacturing, and they saw this as an opportunity for them to bring a lot of that in house,” he said. “Their business has just grown and grown.”

Mark Mattis of PM Realty Group also represented the tenant in the deal; Britten Shuford of SCO Advisors represented the landlord.

Executive Shuffle

Prospect Mortgage, a residential lender based in Sherman Oaks, has named Michael J. Williams chief executive. Williams, who has served as chairman since late 2012, will also continue in that role. He joined Prospect from Fannie Mae, where he had been chief executive and helped guide the company through the mortgage crisis. Former Prospect Chief Executive Ronald L. Bergum will continue as a managing partner.

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

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