The Paley Center for Media property sold last week for the highest off-Rodeo Drive price paid for a Beverly Hills retail property since 2007.

New York private real estate investment firm Jenel Management Corp. purchased the 26,500-square-foot property at 461-469 N. Beverly Drive for nearly $47.3 million, about $1,782 a square foot.

The seller in the all-cash transaction was a group of seven trusts representing the families of business partners who purchased the property together in the 1920s to use as the headquarters for a lumber company. Bank of America had a long-term ground lease for the property, which it in turn sublet to the Paley Center in 1995. L.A. architect Richard Meier, best known for his work on the Getty Center, designed the Paley building.

John Bertram of Savills Studley, who represented the buyer in the deal, said the bank’s rent – and by extension the Paley Center’s sublease – is tied to the gold standard, causing rental rates to fluctuate from year to year.

“Every year the rent gets readjusted based on the price of gold, so underlying rent was low relative to the market,” he said.

With potential for rental growth, Bertram added that he wouldn’t be surprised to see the property convert to high-end retail use with steeper rents once the long-term ground lease expires in nine years.

“I think Paley’s intention is to stay in the building, and the buyer’s intention is to hold the property as a passive real estate investment,” he said. “But when Paley leaves, it’s going to be converted to high-end retail with much higher rents.”

Chris Holland and Patrick Sheekey of Coldwell Banker Commercial Westmac represented the seller in the deal.

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