Granite Properties has purchased a 21-story Glendale office tower at 550 N. Brand Blvd. for just under $80 million, bulking up its Tri-Cities portfolio. Granite, based in Plano, Texas, now owns about 1 million square feet of offices between Glendale and Burbank, including the Brand Boulevard neighbor of its newest purchase.

“We’ve had great success next door,” said Tom Miller, Granite’s managing director, referring to the building acquired three years ago for $95 million. “Glendale has a great, great economic location with all the retail and multifamily growth that’s going on.”

The price for the 304,503-square-foot Class A building translated to about $262 a square foot, far below rates for top-tier buildings in hot markets such as the Westside and downtown Los Angeles. Two of the biggest tenants are the federal government and National TeleConsultants, a technology consultancy, followed by law and accounting firms.

Granite will upgrade the lobbies, halls, and patios, but don’t call it a “creative office” redesign.

“I think of it as next-generation space,” said Miller. “We’re certainly going to make it as attractive a space is available in the market.”

Jones Lang LaSalle will continue providing the building’s leasing services, and Granite will run management operations.

Manhattan Beach Spruce Up

Manhattan Village is taking a page from the Rick Caruso playbook.

Just as Caruso has attracted crowds of shoppers with his open-air plazas, the Manhattan Beach shopping center will begin a major expansion next month.

Following the lead of many L.A.-area malls, owner RREEF America, part of Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, plans on spending a reported $150 million to spruce up its 44-acre campus with a larger outdoor shopping zone as well as renovations to the interior.

JLL is spearheading the upgrades and leasing effort.

Manhattan Village’s new outdoor zone, meant to seamlessly connect with the existing mall, will include a central patio and walkways lined with drought-tolerant plants, fountains, and string lights.

Macy’s Inc. is consolidating into a single 168,000-square-foot space, combining departments that are on opposite ends of the mall. The move comes as Macy’s is in the process of closing 40 stores after reporting a 31 percent drop in earnings last quarter.

The consolidation will leave room for a new anchor tenant, and JLL is scouting for an upscale department store or “an experiential and/or entertainment venue that the Beach Cities community will enjoy,” according to the Manhattan Village website.

Manhattan Village’s current tenants include Apple Inc., Pottery Barn, Sephora USA Inc., and California Pizza Kitchen.

Ocean Views

A 90-unit apartment building painted in sea-foam green and periwinkle, a few miles from the Palos Verdes beach, has been sold for $40 million.

The complex was built in the early 1970s but extensively renovated in the past few years. Vista Catalina now fetches rents beginning at $2,295 a month for one-bedroom units, according to CoStar Group Inc.

The seller, Marcus & Millichap’s Institutional Property Advisors, nailed a price that translated to more than $445,000 a unit. The buyer was G&G Enterprises of Wilmington.

“The community is a cliffside retreat perched atop the Rancho Palos Verdes bluffs,” said Paul Darrow, an IPA director, in a statement. “Eighty-eight units have been renovated with high-end finishes and most have ocean views.”

The 143,388-square-foot building last traded hands in 2013 for $35.8 million.

Forward Thinking

One of L.A.’s first creative-office conversions is still keeping up with the times.

A former manufacturing building on Sepulveda Boulevard near the interchange of the 405 and 10 freeways will continue to be home for mOcean. The ad agency, represented by Savills Studley, just renewed its lease for 28,300 square feet.

“The property’s innovative setting … supports mOcean’s mission to continue developing breakthrough campaigns for forward-thinking clients,” said John Bertram, executive managing director at Savills Studley, in a statement.

The 200,000-square-foot building has been owned by Harvey Capital Corp. since 2011. Other tenants include Neural Analytics, the National Genetics Institute, and Revelations Entertainment, according to CoStar. The property, between Anawalt Lumber and Party City, became an office space in the 1990s.

Staff Reporter Daina Beth Solomon can be a reached at dsolomon@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 556-8337.

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