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Swimwear Maker Dives Into Downtown Home

Warnaco Swimwear Group, a division of New York clothing manufacturing giant Warnaco Group Inc., has signed a lease for 38,000 square feet in downtown Los Angeles.

Warnaco will move its creative division from Commerce to the Los Angeles Center Studios in September underscoring downtown’s growing appeal to a variety of businesses.

The seven-year deal, which closed three weeks ago, is valued at about $9 million.

The lease starts at $3 per square foot per month for floors 11 and 12 of the Class A, 12-story office building at the 450 Bixel St. property. Los Angeles Center Studios handles film, television and commercial production and also has office space.

Warnaco Swimwear found downtown to be more accessible than Commerce, and ultimately was attracted to the feel of the campus, said Chris Bonbright, chief executive of Ramsey-Shilling Commercial Real Estate Services Inc.

“It’s another creative dimension,” said Bonbright, who represented the studio. “Some people are making movies, some people are making clothes. The stimulation of other creative activities around them is just a natural.”

Bonbright said Warnaco Swimwear considered moving to Glendale or Burbank before choosing the 20-acre studio as its new home. Los Angeles Center Studios is owned by San Francisco-based Bristol Group Inc.

Roy Longman and David Callahan of CresaPartners LLC represented Warnaco Swimwear and the studio was also represented by John Tronson and Tom Barich of Ramsey Shilling.


Hollywood Eats

Though he just opened another Hollywood eatery two months ago, restaurateur George Abou-Daoud has no intention to stop now. He has plans to open five more restaurants in the next year.

Abou-Daoud, owner of the new Delancey restaurant, an Italian spot, and the Bowery, a “gastropub” he opened in 2005, said that he hopes his restaurants will help create a real neighborhood in Hollywood. At the moment, several large mixed-use projects are being developed in the heart of the community, but new smaller eateries and shops are few and far between.

“You can’t have big project after big project,” said Abou-Daoud. “My goal in Hollywood is doing the infill the connectors to the big projects.”

Later this summer, Abou-Daoud will open the Mission, a “neighborhood cantina,” at 5946 Sunset Blvd., which is next to Delancey. The restaurateur also has plans for a wine lounge at 5940 Sunset Blvd. and a sandwich shop at Sunset and Tamarind Ave. Both will open “before September,” he said.

Next, Abou-Daoud has plans for two restaurants in the next year at 6600 Sunset Blvd. a gourmet market-style eatery and a full-service restaurant.

“It’s important to maintain a neighborhood identity so you don’t go the way of being only a tourist destination,” he said.




Douglas Speaks

On June 11, residential real estate icon Jon Douglas addressed a group of brokers for the first time in over a decade. Since Douglas merged his namesake residential brokerage in 1995 with Prudential California Realty he’s kept a low profile.

That’s been by choice, but Douglas said he decided to address a group of about 150 Coldwell Banker brokers at a Beverly Hills home because the state of the residential real estate market is similar to the early 1990s when he had his brokerage.

“It wasn’t so much about a pep talk or the market, but more that it might be a good time for these people, in order to cope with the market, to see how they can improve themselves,” said Douglas, who spoke at a private home.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles resident continues to invest in real estate and has plans to develop luxury homes outside Sacramento, where he owns an eatery called Masque Ristorante.

Douglas also retains a large interest in Douglas Emmett Inc., the REIT that went public in 2006. Douglas founded the first iteration of that company with partner Dan Emmett in 1971. The office and multifamily real estate company has a portfolio of almost 12 million square feet of space and nearly 3,000 residential units. Shares of Douglas Emmett were trading at $22.93 on June 19.


Staff reporter Daniel Miller can be reached at

dmiller@labusinessjournal.com

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

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