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Monday, May 23, 2022

Office Development Gets Jump on Pair of Tenants

The ultracontemporary C3 office building under construction in Culver City’s Culver Pointe business park has signed two tenants a half-year before completion.

Consumer goods producer Henkel Corp. and the Carat division of marketing agency Dentsu Aegis Network each signed leases for 49,000 square feet and are slated to move in this November, according to Jones Lang LaSalle, which is marketing C3’s office space with developer IDS Real Estate Group.

The owner is BIT Culver City Creative Office, a fund managed by PNC Realty Investors. About 185,000 square feet remain available.

Culver Pointe, a business park comprised mostly of office buildings from the 1980s, was known as Corporate Pointe until early this year.

Henkel, based in Düsseldorf, Germany, is expanding its local footprint; it also has office space at 600 Corporate Pointe in the business park. Dentsu, based in London, is relocating from a Santa Monica office.

JLL’s Carl Muhlstein and Hayley Blockley secured the leases with IDS’ Dave Saeta and Rob Fuelling. CBRE represented Henkel while Cushman & Wakefield represented Dentsu.

JLL and IDS did not disclose the lease terms, but IDS’ Saeta said in January that C3 was seeking monthly rents of $4.35 a square foot. That would likely be the highest rate within Culver Pointe.

Fifth Wall Breaks Through

Venice’s fledgling venture capital firm Fifth Wall Ventures announced last week that is had closed its first fund, with $212 million in capital contributions.

Fifth Wall was co-founded by Brendan Wallace and Brad Greiwe last year and is focused on early stage technology companies in the real estate space, according to the pair. In addition to taking money from traditional institutional investors, Wallace and Greiwe garnered investment from a handful of high-profile real estate owners and operators including real estate services giant CBRE Group Inc. and mall owner Macerich Co.

Those strategic investors committed at least $15 million in capital each and agreed to dedicate an internal point person to act as a liaison to Fifth Wall. The venture capital firm’s idea is to not only sink money into promising real estate tech startups, but also to create partnerships among the fund investors and the investee companies, Wallace said.

“We have a very top-down strategy where we figure out what our corporate LPs’ pain points are, what they need, and then we go out and look to make an investment in a real estate technology company that addresses that need,” he said. “At the same time, we’re also looking to create structured commercial partnerships between LPs and companies we invest in.”

Those partnerships will vary, but an early example is Fifth Wall’s participation in September’s $7 million Series A round for B8ta, which brings tech gadgets available online into a physical store where customers can discover and try them out. In addition to the Series A money, B8ta walked away with a partnership to expand its physical presence in Macerich mall properties, including an outpost at Santa Monica Place.

Fifth Wall is also reported to be in talks to buy WiredScore, a business owned by presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner that assesses the speed and quality of buildings’ internet connections.

Wallace and Greiwe did not comment on that potential deal, but said Fifth Wall’s investment strategy and the reason they started the firm is simple.

“We couldn’t find any dedicated venture funds focused on real estate technology,” Wallace said. “Real estate is 14 percent of the U.S. economy’s (gross domestic product), but despite the industry’s size, it’s a late adopter of technology. There’s a lot of inefficiency in the industry still and a lot of companies early in the innovation cycle that can produce an enormous amount of value.”

Staff reporter Daina Beth Solomon can be reached at dsolomon@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 556-8337. Reporter Henry Meier contributed to this report.

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