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Church of Scientology Snaps Up Industrial Space

Bridge Publications Inc., the publishing arm of the Church of Scientology, has signed a $15 million lease for industrial space in Commerce at the Telacu Industrial Park.


The 10-year lease for the 270,414-square-foot-building at 5600 Olympic Blvd. closed March 26.

Bridge will use the space for manufacturing its audio tapes and books, said Jerry Barham, a senior vice president with landlord Telacu Industries Inc., an entity of Telacu Development Corp., a community development business.

Jeff Stephens of CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. said the space made sense for Bridge because it was previously occupied by Dixie Consumer Products LLC, the producer of a variety of household products, and is already set up for manufacturing.

“They do have some unique improvements and they plan to add quite a bit of office, but they are a perfect replacement tenant for that building,” said Stephens, who represented the landlord in the deal, which breaks down to about 45 cents per square foot per month on a triple net basis.

Bridge will take three to six months to renovate the property.

Telacu has a 1 million-square-foot real estate portfolio in the East L.A. area. The industrial park houses Telacu’s corporate headquarters and has about 60 tenants spread over 12 buildings. With the deal the park is 100 percent leased, Barham said.

John Privett and Cameron Merrill of CB Richard Ellis also represented the landlord. John Repstad of Binswanger/Realty Advisory Group represented the tenant.


Maguire Rumors

After Maguire Properties Inc. announced late last month that it had ended exploration of a sale of the company, its stock got leveled on Wall Street.

In just a few days after the March 28 announcement, the Los Angeles real estate investment trust lost 16 percent of its value and was trading for around $14 on March 31.

But a new round of rumors sparked by REIT analyst Barry Vinocur sent the stock price up last week. On April 23, it closed at $16.11.

In the April 22 edition of Vinocur’s REIT Newshound industry newsletter, he wrote that Maguire is now looking at three options for sale, and possibly more.

Vinocur wrote that one of the bidding groups is Brookfield Properties Corp., which has long been rumored to be interested in acquiring Maguire, the largest office landlord in downtown Los Angeles. Among other tidbits, Vinocur wrote that another group is proposing a large investment in Maguire and the placement of a management team to run the company.

Maguire and Brookfield both declined to comment.

Few Wall Street analysts like the direction the company is heading. Maguire, which is run by enigmatic Chief Executive Robert Maguire, has become highly leveraged in recent years, which has prompted worries about its financial state.

In an April 15 research note, Stifel Nicolaus analyst John Guinee was one of the few analysts to rate the stock a “buy,” but warned it is a “high risk/high return opportunity.”

“The risk is the high leverage, unknown direction of private market valuations and how current CEO Rob Maguire will deal with the situation,” Guinee wrote.

Maguire plans to release its first quarter financial results May 6.


Office Chatter

Snyder Langston, an Irvine-based builder, has completed an $8 million construction project for the Catholic Charities of Los Angeles. The firm built the third phase of the Catholic Charities/Good Shepherd Center Women’s Village at 1671 Beverly Blvd. The 35,892-square-foot building for homeless mothers and children includes a demonstration bakery where women will be able to get job training. Frank Martinez, Snyder Langston’s vice president of business development, said 20 percent of his company’s business is institutional in nature, with an emphasis on non-profits and schools. “This gives Catholic Charities the ability to offer far more services to the local community,” he said. For the first time, a real estate services firm has made the Fortune 500 list and the honoree is a local player. CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. of Los Angeles slotted in at No. 404 this year after placing at No. 520 last year. The list ranks U.S. companies by total revenue and CB Richard Ellis Group’s revenue totaled $6 billion in 2007.


Staff reporter Daniel Miller can be reached at

dmiller@labusinessjournal.com

or (323) 549-5225, ext. 263.

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