Playa Jefferson has sold for $165 million, or $843 a square foot, making it Playa Vista’s priciest office sale, according to sources familiar with the deal.

Rockwood Capital picked up the nearly 200,000-square-foot site last week from Vantage Property Investors, which purchased the complex on Jefferson Boulevard for $33 million in 2011.

Values in the market have skyrocketed since, following the arrival of major tech companies Google Inc., Yahoo Inc., and others.

Facebook Inc. nabbed 50,000 square feet at Playa Jefferson in February, and the four-building complex is now nearly full. Other tenants include R/GA, Omnicom, Arup, and Regus. A fifth building, of 55,500 square feet, is slated for construction.

Playa Jefferson fetched its high price point largely due to its location across from the retailers and eateries at Runway Playa Vista.

“It has the best location in Playa Vista from an office perspective,” said Scott Selke of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, who led the debt and structured finance group’s work on the deal.

Playa Jefferson was marketed by NGKF’s capital markets team of Kevin Shannon, Ken White, and Scott Schumaker. Its sale is another sign of Playa Vista investors cashing in on a maturing Silicon Beach market.

“Playa Vista is a place where a lot of people still want to plant a flag,” Shannon said, adding that more than 100 potential buyers showed interest in the five weeks that Playa Jefferson was on the market.

The nearby Reserve offices, home to Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp., sold in January of last year for $316 million, or $832 a square foot. The Runway Playa Vista mixed-use center sold in February for $475 million, with the office component fetching $746 a square foot. The Landing at Playa Vista is under contract to sell for $80 million, or $794 a square foot.

Electric Vibes

Movie producer Dean Devlin, best known for his work on the “Independence Day” franchise, just moved his Electric Entertainment company into a West Hollywood building he bought for $15.7 million.

The 20,700-square-foot site on La Cienega Boulevard is about twice the size of Devlin’s former office. The previous quarters had been cramped with as many as 70 employees at a time in growing production and distribution operations.

“We were busting at the seams,” said Chief Financial Officer Jeff Gonzalez.

The search for bigger digs began a year ago. Devlin, represented by CBRE’s Marty Barkan, looked at more than a dozen spots before landing on the Mediterranean-style complex.

It was listed by CBRE’s Jeff Pion and Michelle Esquivel with an asking price of $18 million. Previously occupied by Discovery Communications, it was already equipped with editing bays. A second-floor patio was another perk as well as eateries on nearby Santa Monica Boulevard.

Devlin, who is in a Beatles cover band as a hobby, also appreciated the building’s musical past. Built in 1968, it was home to Doors label Elektra Records and has a cement-clad “echo room” where Jim Morrison used to record.

Craig Gates, Electric’s vice president for business and legal affairs, revealed another connection: His father David Gates used to record there with ’70s band Bread.

Producer Frank Agrama purchased the building in 1998 for $3.6 million.

Electric is now selling its former office on Highland Avenue, which it purchased in 2008 for $5.95 million.

Other media companies are also sticking around Hollywood. Panavision Inc., represented by CBRE’s Patrick Amos and Jones Lang LaSalle’s Rich Bright, renewed a lease for five years at the Selma Avenue building where it has been since 1995. The lease for 24,000 square feet is valued at more than $6 million, said Ian Strano at NAI Capital Commercial Real Estate, who represented landlord Torrance Borders Partners.

J.H. Snyder Co.’s new Hollywood 959 complex is 35 percent occupied, with leasing handled by First Property’s Michael Geller, Josh Bernstein, and Ben Silver. Sound production company Formosa Group recently took 30,000 square feet there, represented by Cushman & Wakefield’s Mark Robinson and Arlene Sommer, and Bold Films picked up 14,000 square feet, represented by NGKF’s Greg Frankovich. Broad Green Pictures and media storage company HGST Inc. are also tenants. Kilroy Realty’s Columbia Square recently nabbed effects company Legend 3D, which inked an 11-year deal for 27,000 square feet. Legend was represented by Jacob Bobek and Aaron Wilder at Avison Young, with Jones Lang LaSalle’s Carl Muhlstein representing Kilroy.

Torrance Turnaround

Montana Avenue Capital Partners is tackling another South Bay office project.

The Santa Monica firm partnered with Contrarian Capital Management of Greenwich, Conn., to purchase a 122,700-square-foot complex in Torrance for $17.3 million. Plans call for exposing the wood-truss ceilings, renovating common areas, and adding a café.

Staff reporter Daina Beth Solomon can be reached at dsolomon@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 549-5225, ext. 237.

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