59.9 F
Los Angeles
Monday, May 23, 2022

Auto Maker to Race Away From Massive Campus

Toyota Motor North America Inc. has put its massive Torrance campus on the market, almost three years after announcing plans to relocate its North American headquarters to Texas.

The 110-acre site at 19001 S. Western Ave. encompasses 2 million square feet of office and industrial space in about 20 buildings, according to Jones Lang LaSalle, which holds the listing.

Toyota spokesman Aaron Fowles confirmed the property is on the market, saying a sale was in lines with the automaker’s transition plan outlined in 2014.

The company will start moving into its headquarters in Plano, Texas, this summer, where 1,600 people are working in a temporary office, he said. The workforce includes transplants from California as well as New York state and Kentucky, but more people are expected to join from Torrance later this year.

JLL is marketing the property without a listing price and the site’s estimated value could not immediately be verified. Toyota built or purchased the campus in stages beginning in the mid-1970s; the property includes two helipads, a diesel generator, and a hydrogen fuel cell power plant as well as a pool and tennis court.

JLL Managing Director Jeff Adkison, who is marketing the property with Senior Vice President Brendan McArthur, said he expects the site to attract bidders who appreciate the location’s proximity to major transit and trade hubs.

Various options are on the table for the Toyota site’s future, said CBRE Group Inc. Senior Vice President Bob Healey. A developer could sell off the buildings one by one, which was the case when Nissan Motor Co. sold its South Bay property a decade ago. Another option would be for an industrial developer to use the space for warehouses, given the sector’s extremely tight vacancy.

A corporation could potentially buy the property for its own use, Healey said, but that seems doubtful given its gigantic size and lack of demand in the Torrance office market, where vacancy is 22.4 percent. Residential development would depend on city approval.

All that uncertainty means the property’s value is difficult to gauge. But with Healey putting Torrance land values at $50 a square foot, the baseline would likely be $235 million.

Monday Moves

New York real estate investor Monday Properties is, for the first time, looking west. The firm is opening an L.A. office and plans to begin targeting acquisitions in Los Angeles and along the West Coast.

Monday has appointed Philip Cyburt, previously chief executive at Laurus Corp. in Century City, to lead the effort, and plans to draw on his background in office, multifamily, and hotel projects to find properties in those sectors that could benefit from an investment infusion.

Cyburt said he is aiming for Monday to have about $2 billion of assets under management in West Coast markets in the next five years, including Los Angeles; San Diego; Seattle; and Portland, Ore.

“I see a huge opportunity in the marketplace for good, stable, high-quality operators,” he said.

With Monday’s history, access to capital, and the infrastructure already in place to own and operate large properties, it might be able to buy several properties at once in a portfolio sale rather than pick them off individually, Cyburt added.

Anthony Westreich, Monday’s chief executive, said the company is aiming to satisfy the demand of capital partners who are looking for opportunity in supply-constrained markets, without necessarily paying top dollar. Although commercial values in Los Angeles are heating up, they remain lower than in other big-city markets.

“The L.A. market, and many of the submarkets within L.A., are not as far along in the bull market as some of the assets we see in Boston, New York, or San Francisco,” Westreich said.

Native Land

Seven years after launching, ad tech firm Nativo Inc. is nearly tripling its footprint in El Segundo. The native advertising specialist is taking 25,051 square feet at Pacific Corporate Towers as its headquarters, leaving behind a 9,000-square-foot space in the same building.

JLL’s Jason Fine represented Nativo, while CBRE’s Grafton Tanquary, John Ayoob, and Erin Grannis represented landlords General Motors Pension Trust and BlackRock Inc.

Nativo considered relocation options in El Segundo and Playa Vista before deciding to stay put, according to Fine.

Midwest Purchase

CBRE has hooked a new company as part of ongoing efforts to enhance its status as a big fish in the world of commercial real estate services. The downtown firm last week acquired Capstone Financial Solutions, a finance company that targets private and middle-market investors, for an undisclosed amount.

St. Louis-based Capstone can help CBRE expand its debt financing footprint across the Midwest, said Jeff Majewski, an executive managing director at CBRE.

Capstone also operates in Beverly Hills; Tampa, Fla.; Dallas; Indianapolis; and Kansas City, Mo. Its new L.A. base will be in CBRE’s Century City office.

CBRE said it also targeted Capstone for access to the firm’s loan-processing software.

The acquisition fits into CBRE’s strategy of snapping up smaller companies that align with its own services. The firm made four acquisitions last year and one in January.

“There’s no transaction that’s too small or too large, from an M&A standpoint, if it’s a strategic fit,” said Majewski.

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

Featured Articles

Related Articles