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Dwarfed by Mega-Deal, Other Warner Properties Sold

Dwarfed by Mega-Deal, Other Warner Properties Sold

Real Estate

by Danny King

As Douglas Emmett Realty Advisors completes the process of buying Warner Center Plaza in the county’s largest deal of the year estimated at more than $350 million two smaller office properties in the shadow of the 1.8-million-square-foot complex have been sold for a combined $35 million.

In the larger of the deals, Crown Realty and Development bought the 151,000-square-foot Carlton Plaza for $21.5 million. With the June signing of law firm Polk Scheer & Prober to a seven-year lease for 16,000 square feet, the building at 20750 Ventura Blvd. is 80 percent occupied.

The building, where leases are in the $2 to $2.25 range, sold for $142 a square foot. By comparison, Warner Center Plaza, which is a mile and a half away and considered the most prestigious office address in the West Valley, sold for more than $195 a foot.

“This fit (Crown’s) profile,” said Lyn Fields, partner at Madison Partners, who represented the buyer. “They’re looking for Class-A buildings in B-markets.”

The Irvine-based firm owns 2 million square feet of commercial space throughout L.A. and Orange counties, most notably the 533,000-square-foot Wateridge office project just south of Baldwin Hills.

Meanwhile, about a block north of Warner Center Plaza, Trizec Properties Inc. sold a 152,000-square-foot building at 6219 De Soto Ave. occupied by movie equipment manufacturer Panavision International. Sale price for the building, which has office space up front and warehouse space in back, was not disclosed, though West Valley sources estimate that transaction at about $14 million.

Panavision has 10 years left on its 16-year lease at the site. The buyer, 6219 De Soto Partners, is made up of a partnership of local real estate investors Joseph Daneshgar and Mehdi and Behrouz Soroudi. The Soroudis own Santa Monica’s Wilshire West Car Wash, among other properties.

Carlton Plaza seller Insignia Commercial Investors was represented internally while Madison Partners’ Bob Safai represented both sides of the Panavision deal.

Newsy Deal

An old journalistic haunt will get a new neighbor, as a Venice builder bought the old Hollywood Citizen News building with plans of building about 40 loft units next door.

A partnership led by Jose Bunge, who owns one of the Windward Avenue “arcade” buildings among his five Venice properties, bought the 43,500-square-foot Spanish Revival building at 1545 N. Wilcox Ave. for $6.4 million.

“The building is in pretty good shape, but I’m going to do a little more work on the fa & #231;ade,” said Bunge, who estimated an $8 million to $10 million price tag on the loft build-out and the facelift for the 70-year-old building. While entitlements for the one-acre site have yet to be approved for the lofts, “I talked to the CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency) and they liked the idea too,” said Bunge.

Built after the merger of the Hollywood News and the Hollywood Daily Citizen in 1931 (the paper folded in 1970), the property is fully leased, with rents ranging from $1.35 to $1.60 a foot, triple net. Tenants include graphics company Imagic and digital recording company Marcussen Mastering.

“The building will show positive cash flow while he’s trying to get his ducks in a row (for the loft build-out),” said John Tronson, principal at Ramsey-Shilling Commercial Real Estate. “Even if he never builds anything, it’s a good buy.”

Ramsey-Shilling’s Michael Donatelli and Mark Evanoff represented the buyer while Tronson represented the seller, Accord Interests LLC.

Apparel Moves

Watson Land Co. is gradually making up for the loss of one big apparel company at its Watson Industrial Center South park in Carson by signing on two smaller ones.

Impac Logistic Services and Global Apparel Express Inc., both of which specialize in shipping clothing, recently signed leases totaling 236,000 square feet. Impac signed a five-year lease for 128,000 square feet for $3.5 million, doubling its occupancy at the park in the process. Global Apparel, which moved from Watson’s Rancho Dominguez facility, signed a seven-year deal worth $4.5 million.

While noting the significance of signing two apparel companies in a short period of time, Kirk Johnson, vice president at Watson, stopped short of identifying the Carson area as the new hotbed of shipping companies that handle clothing. “There’s no trend of apparel logistics companies coming to the South Bay in droves,” said Johnson. “It was a coincidence.”

Still, the leasing activity partially compensates for the loss of Kmart, which filed for Chapter 11 in January. The Troy, Mich.-based retailer moved out of about 500,000 square feet at the industrial park in the first quarter to consolidate operations at its Ontario distribution center.

Binswanger Realty Advisory Group’s Brett Dedeaux and James Abbott represented Impac and Sullivan & Associates’ Steve Sullivan represented Global Apparel. Watson Land Co. was represented in-house by Kirk Johnson and Lance Ryan on both deals.

Industrial Moves

One City of Industry logistics firm is sacrificing a little short-term space for a long-term expansion opportunity.

SL Investment Group, an affiliate of trucking company SB Transportation, purchased a 290,000-square-foot industrial building at 218 Machlin Ct. for $13.6 million. The property is one of 10 buildings in Industry’s Plantation Development that was built by Anaheim-based Koll Development Co. in 2000.

SB Transportation will sell its 120,000-square-foot building at 347 Stimson Ave. and move into the portion of the new building not occupied by cosmetics manufacturer Markwins International Corp., which has two years left on its 175,000-square-foot space, according to Steve Bellitti, senior vice president at Colliers Seeley.

“Their plan is to occupy the back and, over time, grow into the entire building when Markwins vacates,” said Bellitti, who, with Colliers Seeley’s Thomas Taylor and Clyde Stauff, represented the seller, Sares-Regis Group.

The transaction is the second in three months at the development. In April, home d & #233;cor retailer Strouds bought the 159,000-square-foot building at 280 Machlin Ct. for its new headquarters offices.

Daum Commercial Real Estate’s Shan Lee represented the buyer on the transaction.

Staff reporter Danny King can be reached at (323) 549-5225 ext. 230, or at

dking@labusinessjournal.com.

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