Coopers Look Beyond Film Industry for Hollywood Portfolio

Coopers Look Beyond Film Industry for Hollywood Portfolio
1000 Seward is a proposed project with creative office space.

A large family-owned portfolio of properties around Hollywood that has been mostly used by the entertainment industry will soon welcome a new range of businesses.

The Cooper family, led by filmmaker Matt Cooper, plans to redevelop several pieces of its extensive portfolio into creative office spaces, multifamily properties and even hospitality products.

Cooper has partnered with Hollywood-based Plus Development Group for the effort, which will include complete updates of older buildings and some ground-up projects.

“We started out principally in the post-
production and production world, and along the way we assembled a lot of real estate as part of that,” Cooper said. “Until recently, we weren’t doing anything in terms of development.”
Cooper and his brother own several post-production facilities in L.A., including The Post Group, Runway Edit, Evergreen and Enterprise Recording Studios, and Shapeshifter. Cooper’s companies provide short-term rentals of equipment for editing and other production and post-production tasks.

“We just really know that market and understand that part of town. That’s part of where we were most comfortable. Now we’re really branching out,” Cooper said.

An attorney introduced Cooper to Plus Development, and the two parties started working on development plans for 1000 Steward, a proposed mixed-use project with creative office space, retail and open space.

The Cooper family and Plus Development now have seven projects in active development.  

Hawkins/Brown Architects has been brought on as the architect for the first two projects, 1000 Steward and 1235 Vine St., a proposed eight-story office building with ground-level retail. Both projects are expected to be completed in 2024.

Hawkins/Brown will also work on two additional developments for the Coopers and Plus Development in Burbank and North Hollywood.

But it’s the Hollywood market that has been a hotbed for development activity in the last few years.

“Hollywood has continued to be a major magnet for new development. The trend started a while back, partly because you’ve got the demand from the entertainment industry. Netflix really changed everything when they came in and took all their space and absorbed a ton of space and brought the support companies around them. And it’s a market with a potential to build some larger projects, which is always attractive,” said Avison Young Inc.’s Christopher Bonbright.

Plus Development and Cooper plan to spend more than $600 million on the portfolio in the area over the next few years and more than $1 billion across its national and international developments.

It aims to start three new projects a year to accomplish that goal.

Plus Development’s co-founder and Principal Chris Carlin and Director Mick Unwin are behind the projects.

Carlin said he was initially interested in the project at 1000 Steward, which quickly became additional projects.

Cooper said the property contained “a large parking lot that was underutilized, and we thought we could do something better.”

Not all of the projects Cooper and Plus Development work on together will be the same product type. Cooper said a fair amount will be creative office space but there could also be residential and hospitality properties.

“There’s a strong demand for Class A creative office space in Steward and Vine, those locations,” Unwin said.

Cooper added that the sites’ locations near amenities was part of what made them desirable. 

Seeking tenants

Carlin said the company is now working with brokers to find the right tenants.

“We designed all of our buildings to have multiple tenants, which we all think is very important. While if one of the big … names comes in and says, ‘We want the whole building,’ they can have the whole building. But if they just want to do the floor, fantastic, we welcome that as well,” Cooper said.

Carlin added that the design, which has a lot of outdoor space, will make it desirable to the tenants they are trying to attract.

Despite Cooper’s Hollywood pedigree, the projects at Steward and Vine will not have soundstages.

But Cooper said he and Plus may work on other spaces with soundstages, and the two parties are interested in acquiring other properties.

“We did have a bit of a running start with the fact that the Coopers have the land,” Carlin said. “There were no land acquisition costs.”

And the Covid-19 pandemic isn’t slowing things down.

“We are more bullish than ever,” Unwin said.

The company is, however, working to make sure its projects have lots of outdoor space, touchless systems, wide corridors, strict cleaning protocols and high-end air filtration systems.

Carlin added that the company was working to meet WELL standards — like LEED ratings but for health and wellness — and to be sustainable.
For this year, the company is working to get the Steward and Vine projects entitled and then start construction.

Multiple projects planned

The company has seven sites in active development and plans to do additional projects as well. The group aims to entitle three projects per year and start construction on three per year.

One project the company is eyeing would have 200 residential units and ground-floor retail in mid-Hollywood. Unwin said the company is looking at adding 300 units across three projects in the L.A. area.

In total, the company thinks its development work will be 60% office and 40% residential.

Bonbright said most of the development in Hollywood now is apartments because it is “the easiest to finance, the easiest to get entitled and the demand is very predictable. Capital kind of goes in the direction where it is easiest to get (its goals) accomplished.”

Looking forward, he does not see development sputtering out anytime soon.
“It’s going to be more of the same. It’s a very healthy market,” Bonbright said. “There’s a tremendous amount of interest from developers, from investors, from tenants.”

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Hannah Welk
Hannah (Madans) Welk is the interim editor at the Los Angeles Business Journal and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. She previously covered real estate for the Los Angeles Business Journal. She has done work with publications including The Orange County Register, The Real Deal and

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