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Equity Office Daily Brief: November 25, 2015

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Daily Brief

November 25, 2015

  EquilityOffice

PRINT NEWS

 

Tribune to Sell L.A. Property

Los Angeles Business Journal

 

Tribune Media will sell nearly 25 acres in downtown L.A.’s Arts District, a press release said. A printing plant leased by the Los Angeles Times newspaper and seven acres of frontage along Alameda Street are parts of the parcel offered for...

 


The Office Space Isn't Dead, It's Making A Comeback

Forbes

 

Over the past few years there have been many discussions around the death and disappearance of the office. Most believed that with co-working locations, the spread of Wi-Fi and mobility, and the rise of co-working locations that there would be no...

 



BLOG & ONLINE NEWS

 

Grocery Rules Single-Tenant NNN

GlobeSt.com

 

LOS ANGELES—Grocery is the new “buzz word” for single-tenant investors, who are willing to take on the risk of a big box retail space for a grocery tenant, according to Chris Sands, the founder of Sands Investment Group, and Dan Hoogesteger,...

 


US Tech Booms in Surprising Areas

GlobeSt.com

 

Silicon Valley may have been the epicenter of the US high tech industry, but according to JLL’s latest US Technology Office Outlook, many firms in the sector are branching out. “For high-tech companies, what is most critical is an available labor...

 


Proposed Hollywood Tower Adds Height and Hotel Rooms

Urbanize LA

 

Plans for a new high-rise development in Hollywood have reemerged on a much grander scale. Yesterday, a tipster forwarded a notice from the Los Angeles Department of City Planning which indicates that developer Riley Realty, L.P. has made substantial revisions to their...

 


LA Will Lease Property to Koreatown Museum/Mixed-User for $1 a Year

Curbed LA

 

After looking for a permanent home for fifteen years, the Korean American National Museum looks poised to make the corner of Sixth and Vermont the site of it's brand new facility. The Los Angeles City Council has just given the green...

 

FULL TEXT


Tribune to Sell L.A. Property

Los Angeles Business Journal

 

Tribune Media will sell nearly 25 acres in downtown L.A.’s Arts District, a press release said. A printing plant leased by the Los Angeles Times newspaper and seven acres of frontage along Alameda Street are parts of the parcel offered for sale.

“L.A.'s Arts District is an incredibly vibrant area and extremely attractive to emerging businesses looking for an exciting and creative environment in which to locate. This is one of Los Angeles’ hottest areas for mixed-use retail and office development, and we’re expecting a lot of interest,” said Murray McQueen, president of Tribune Real Estate Holdings, in a statement.

He also called the property “ripe for development.”

Tribune Media's sister company Tribune Publishing Co. undertook a series of cost-cutting measures at the Los Angeles Times and its nine other newspapers across the country this fall. Editors and reporters who have accepted buyout offers from the Times are expected to leave the newspaper this week.

-Staff

The Office Space Isn't Dead, It's Making A Comeback

Forbes

 

Over the past few years there have been many discussions around the death and disappearance of the office. Most believed that with co-working locations, the spread of Wi-Fi and mobility, and the rise of co-working locations that there would be no need for an office anymore. We would all work from anywhere and everywhere and this was of course a fair and reasonable prediction. But, it’s not entirely true. Our traditional idea of an office is in fact disappearing, that is the row of cubicles lined in a building that looks and smells like a hospital but the office itself is far from dead!

Consider that in Toronto Cisco is investing in a new $100 million innovation hub, Mars Drinks recently invested $29 million in a new facility, Whirlpool put down $85 million, Apple around $5 billion, Samsung $300 million, and the list goes on and on. Deloitte recently built the world’s smartest and greenest building called the Edge that is supposed to cost just under a decade to earn the cost back (cost of the building wasn’t disclosed). These are just a few of the companies in heavily in new spaces, Schneider Electric, Linkedin, SAP, Airbnb, Salesforce, Amazon, and many others are also completely thinking the physical environment. The office space is far from dead, it’s re-emering, in fact a recent report from commercial real estate company CBRE found that U.S. Office investment is at a 7-year high hitting $119 billion.

So, if the office space isn’t dead then what’s going on? Office spaces are re-emerging as employee experience centers. All of the companies that are investing in new or redesigned spaces are doing so because they realize one crucial change that has happened in the workplace. That organizations can no longer assume that employees need to work there and organizations must in fact create environments where people actually want to show up. These beautiful new spaces aren’t being created for fun or because it’s a nice thing to do. Companies are leveraging their physical environment as a new strategic competitive advantage. Modern cafeterias with catered food, modular work spaces that can be moved around, wood-trimmed walls and floors, colorful art-work, stylish furniture, smart lighting and sensors are all part of creating great employee experiences where people actually want to show up to work.

As part of my work I frequently tour and visit company offices all around the world and I have found one key thing in common with the most forward thinking organizations. That is, they don’t look at the physical space as a way of enabling one type of work. In other words these organizations might have an area for open spaces, another space with modern cubes, an area for individual and private space, a coffee shop like environment, conference rooms, etc. That is, they provide multiple means of getting work done that cater to any preference versus assigning and dictating one style of physical space (what used to be the traditional cube that everyone had to sit in).

When the idea of open spaces was first introduced it was an exciting and positive change that was then met by backlash and articles stating that open environments are making people sick. What many of these articles failed to mention was that the organizations investing in open floor plans also have numerous other floor plans that cater to diverse ways of working. It’s not a one-way or nothing approach. It’s about recognizing that employees have multiple preferences for how they want to work and enabling that. Of course as a part of this organizations are also enabling flexible work programs that allow employees to work from coffee shops, co-working locations, or any other wi-fi enabled location.

-Jacob Morgan

Grocery Rules Single-Tenant NNN

GlobeSt.com

 

LOS ANGELES—Grocery is the new “buzz word” for single-tenant investors, who are willing to take on the risk of a big box retail space for a grocery tenant, according to Chris Sands, the founder of Sands Investment Group, and Dan Hoogesteger, principal at Sands Investment Group. The firm recently sold four single-tenant grocery stores in two separate transactions that totaled $47 million, GlobeSt.com has learned exclusively. While the sales show the investor appetite for grocery-occupied single-tenant properties, they also show that sellers are recognizing the market conditions and taking advantage of the good timing.

“People have really turned to the daily needs concept, which includes food, prescription drugs and things of that nature, and grocery stores fall under that category of daily needs,” Hoogesteger tells GlobeSt.com. “A lot of investors believe that it is a subsector within commercial real estate that has a much less likelihood of becoming obsolete with technology.” The four sales include a Food 4 Less single-tenant building in Stanton, CA, which traded for $18.5 million between private investors Katella 111 Partners and Safco Capital Corp. The second transaction was a three-property portfolio sale that traded hands for $28.6 million between an unnamed REIT and Ladder Capital Finance. Hoogesteger and Sands represented the seller in both transactions.

In the Food 4 Less sale, the owner looked at the market conditions and decided to sell the asset and move the capital into multifamily, an asset class with which he and his partner are familiar. “He recognized the risk of potentially owning this asset for the remaining base term,” Sands tells GlobeSt.com. “It is an 81,000-square-foot box, and if it goes vacant, based on the rent that they are paying, there could be a scenario where he is trying to back fill this property. We were able to show that his market was allowing for a cap rate where he could redeploy the equity that he had built up in this asset into another opportunity.” The owner purchased two multifamily properties with the proceeds from the sale, and has almost doubled his cash flow by making the move.

Similarly, in the portfolio transaction in Oklahoma, the seller felt this was the perfect time in the market to dispose of assets that weren’t characteristic its portfolio. In this case, the REIT owns grocery-anchored shopping centers, not single-tenant grocery. “They decided that it would be beneficial to show the market that they are only grocery-anchored owners and that they don’t mix into different categories. As a result, they decided to sell off everything in their portfolio that doesn’t fit directly into the category of grocery-anchored shopping centers,” says Hoogesteger. “We are seeing this more and more in the market right now. These are groups that might not necessarily be sellers, but for one reason or another, if they have a reason to sell, they are looking at the market and saying, ‘now is the time.’”

There were some challenges, however, with the transaction, namely that the leases were flat through the option period. “That was a hard challenge because a lot of buyers out there have a hard time swallowing the pill of buying a property that they are never going to have increases on for 17-18 years, in this case,” says Hoogesteger. Additionally, the properties were located in secondary markets, and although the sales were strong, the location ruled out institutional buyers. “The benefit of these is that they had a higher yield than a other types of single tenant retail, like a Walgreens property, for example,” Hoogesteger adds. Even with the challenges, the brokerage team still received double-digit offers for the sale.

In both of these transactions, the sellers don’t typically dispose of assets. Sands explains that in many cases with grocery anchored retail, the company approaches owners when they see an opportunity. “The product type specialization that we have within the firm to where we have groups working in specific niches, we are finding that is creating opportunity,” says Sands. “It is approaching them and creating a dialogue and showing the value opportunity if they trade money out.”

-Kelsi Maree Borland

US Tech Booms in Surprising Areas

GlobeSt.com

 

Silicon Valley may have been the epicenter of the US high tech industry, but according to JLL’s latest US Technology Office Outlook, many firms in the sector are branching out. “For high-tech companies, what is most critical is an available labor force and access to talent,” Steffen Kammerer, leader of JLL’s technology practice group, tells GlobeSt.com. And since new college graduates go where they can afford to live, it is the more affordable metro areas which will provide the best access. “I think we are going to see new tech hubs.” 

But affordability is only one consideration. Tech-oriented millennials tend to congregate in cities that offer a work-life balance and growing amenity bases, especially if that includes a lot of outdoor activities. Austin, TX scores high on this metric, and the performance of its tech sector over the past year illustrates it. JLL termed it “a prime low-cost alternative, ” but also noted that with its average asking rents at $32.59 per square foot, the tech hub now ranks 10th highest among the 37 markets analyzed in the report. Northern California streets like Sand Hill Rd. and Hamilton Ave.—which at $141.60 and $124.44 per square foot respectively—were the most expensive in the US. Still, “Austin’s 15% annual job growth, second only to San Francisco, will keep talent attraction strong.” 

Major tech firms also look to these secondary and tertiary markets to accommodate anticipated growth because many now believe “adjacency in business units may not be critical,” Kammerer says. He expects these “900-pound gorillas” to keep growing in Northern California, but instead of having everybody under one roof, certain business units can now relocate to cheaper locales without the companies losing any efficiency.

There is also pressure on the small- to mid-sized companies to find cheaper spaces, according to the new report. In the Silicon Valley, “big name tech companies like Google and LinkedIn have been aggressively leasing large blocks of space, pushing tenants south along the 101 corridor. New construction is pre-leasing quickly and offering little relief to strong demand.” 

In the past year, 34 tech companies launched new locations across 19 markets and occupied more than 2.1 million square feet of office space.

But companies looking for cheaper space don’t have to move to new cities. Instead, developers across the country have begun taking over run-down industrial buildings in underutilized submarkets and transforming them into high tech office space.

About four years ago, for example, a joint venture between Worthe Real Estate Group and Shorenstein Properties paid $44 million for a former postal distribution building at 13031 W. Jefferson Blvd. in the Los Angeles neighborhood now known as “Silicon Beach.” The partners took advantage of the 25' high bay ceiling heights by installing floor-to-ceiling glass walls and flooding the interior with natural light. They also cut a 50x200 open space into the building, now called “The Reserve,” and added a 60,000 square foot park with Wifi and volleyball courts, further connecting its occupants to the outdoors. 

These types of projects are happening all over the country, Kammerer says. Many of these buildings now “have bocce courts in the back where once there were only loading docks.” 

How long will this expansion last? That is not easy to say, he says, partly because so many firms want to expand their high tech capacity that the sector may have a lot of hidden strength. “We had a recent conversation with our head of research and what was conveyed is that we still have a healthy run ahead.”

-Brian Rogal

Proposed Hollywood Tower Adds Height and Hotel Rooms

Urbanize LA

 

Plans for a new high-rise development in Hollywood have reemerged on a much grander scale.

Yesterday, a tipster forwarded a notice from the Los Angeles Department of City Planning which indicates that developer Riley Realty, L.P. has made substantial revisions to their proposed mixed-use complex at 6220 Yucca Street.

The project, which was originally envisioned as a 21-story tower featuring 277 apartments, is now planned as a larger two-building development that will contain both hotel rooms and multi-family residential units.

The first building - a 32-story, 368-foot tower - would rise from the western side of the property at Yucca Street and Argyle Avenue.  It would feature ground-level commercial space, parking on floors 2 through 5, hotel rooms and accessory functions on floors 6 through 12, and residential flats and suites on floors 13 through 32.  A site plan from architecture firm Togawa Smith Martin indicates that the building would also offer large outdoor spaces, including a pool deck on its sixth floor.

The second building, located on the eastern side of the property at Yucca Street and Vista Del Mar Avenue, would be a six-story structure featuring additional residential units.  Plans filed with the city show the building flanked by a ground-level landscaped plaza.

Altogether, the proposed development calls for 191 residential units (22 very low income units and 17 low income units), 260 hotel rooms, nearly 7,000 square feet of commercial space and 456 parking spaces.

Construction of the project could commence as soon as late 2017, with substantial completion anticipated by approximately two years afterwards.  Occupancy would be expected sometime during 2021.

The project will require several approvals from the City of Los Angeles, including a height district change, a site plan review and the approval of various density bonus incentives.

Riley Realty, based in West Los Angeles, is closely tied to the Champion Real Estate Company.  Champion, which specializes in urban infill, is currently in predevelopment for two additional mixed-use developments further west near the Hollywood & Highland Center.

Their proposed tower at 6220 Yucca Street is one of three high-rise projects that are either planned or underway at the same intersection.  Kimpton Hotels recently broke ground on a 16-story tower directly across the street.

-Steven Sharp

LA Will Lease Property to Koreatown Museum/Mixed-User for $1 a Year

Curbed LA

 

After looking for a permanent home for fifteen years, the Korean American National Museum looks poised to make the corner of Sixth and Vermont the site of it's brand new facility. The Los Angeles City Council has just given the green light to the leasing of a city parking lot in Koreatown to the non-profit for construction of the Gruen Associates-designed museum celebrating Korean American culture. In a unanimous 11-0 decision, the council approved a $1-a-year lease for use of the land reports the Daily News. The museum plans to construct a seven-story mixed-use building with 103 apartments on the site.

There is some controversy surrounding the project, as the initial proposal to the city only included plans for the museum. That original lease was approved by city council officials in 2013, but the terms of the lease had to be amended and reapproved when the housing units were added to plans earlier this year.

It's not uncommon for cities to lease land to non-profits for cheap, but the addition of 103 rental units that generate income is unprecedented. Additionally, the lease's rate of $1 per year was set before the addition of the apartments, and no discussion of renegotiating terms was made by city councilmembers before voting on the amended lease. The city, though it rents the land to the museum, would not get any revenue from the on-site housing—all money brought in by the apartments would go towards the operational costs of the museum, thus eliminating the museum's need to regularly fundraise. The majority of rental units on the museum site would be priced at market-rate, with 10 percent (10 units) set aside for affordable housing.

While the museum gets to generate revenue from the apartment complex, the city doesn't really stand to gain anything more than that $1 each year. The museum, however, is getting a heck of deal for that buck. Some experts estimate the land itself is worth as much as $5 million and the apartments will generate $500,000 a year in revenue. While supporters like Councilman Herb Wesson likened the one-sided deal to simply "sharing" the parking lot space, opponents wonder if the city is giving away valuable parcels of land at a time when it could use the extra funds. The city's parking spots will also have to be relocated because of the project.

-Jeff Wottenheimer

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