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Friday, Mar 31, 2023

DreamWorks Campus Flipped, Again

Griffin Capital Essential Asset REIT of El Segundo has purchased the Glendale campus of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. for $215 million, the real estate investment trust announced Thursday. This is the second time the 14.7-acre campus has changed hands in the past six months.

The deal could net the struggling animation studio $15 million under an arrangement it struck in February, when it sold its headquarters at 1401 Flower St. to the investment arm of SunTrust Banks Inc. of Atlanta for $185 million.

That deal included a 20-year lease for DreamWorks that started at $13.2 million annually and will increase 1.5 percent annually with four, five-year options after the initial lease period ends.

In a prepared statement, Michael J. Escalante, chief investment officer at Griffin, said, “DreamWorks Animation, led by Jeffrey Katzenberg, is legendary in the field of animated feature films, and has enjoyed a long track record of commercial and critical success. We welcome the addition of their world class, creative office campus.”

The REIT’s portfolio includes 71 office and industrial distribution properties, totaling approximately 16.4 million rentable square feet.

The real estate flip could prove financially rewarding for DreamWorks, which has been hard hit financially in recent months following the release of several films that have failed to perform at the box office, forcing lay-offs and scuttling two merger opportunities.

In DreamWorks’ May 1 quarterly report, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it disclosed that it had struck an agreement with SunTrust to share in 50 percent of the property’s appreciation if it were re-sold to a third party before February 2016. The bank put the property on the market two weeks later.

The sale of the manicured, Tuscan-style campus, which was built in 1997 and features a no-cost cafeteria, water fountains, koi ponds and walking paths, was handled by Kevin Shannon and his team at CBRE.

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