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Equity Office Daily Brief: May 3, 2016

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Daily Brief

May 03, 2016

  EquilityOffice

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3 Trends From the Leading-Edge of Workplace Design

Entrepreneur

 

In today’s highly competitive business climate, companies of all scales, sizes and maturity levels need to maximize the ROI they are pulling from their workplaces. Clearly, workplace ROI means different things to different organizations. For fast growth companies with highly mobile...

 


Steptoe to Close Century City Office, Move Lawyers Downtown

Bloomberg

 

Sometimes to take a step forward, you have to take a step back. Or so goes the rationale among Steptoe & Johnson leadership in the greater Los Angeles legal market. The law firm is closing its Century City office and consolidating operations downtown,...

 


California suburbs growing fast as many are priced out of cities, data show

Los Angeles Times

 

Suburban areas on the outskirts of the red-hot Los Angeles and San Francisco areas grew especially fast last year, state officials reported Monday. San Joaquin County, home to Stockton, grew faster than any other, up 1.3% to 733,000 people. The area has...

 


SPECIAL REPORT: Entertainment Tenants Shrink Vacancy in Burbank

San Fernando Valley Business Journal

 

Both Burbank and Glendale saw an uptick in office investments in the first quarter. Vacancy rates decreased and asking rents rose as small firms and large production companies continued to migrate to the markets. The Burbank market, predominantly occupied by entertainment companies,...

 


Guitar Center Sets Up New West Coast Distribution Center

Commercial Property Executive

 

Rialto, Calif.—Industrial space is in no short supply in the Inland Empire, but Guitar Center’s latest leasing agreement just put a dent in the vacancy numbers right before a substantial inventory expansion is slated for the year’s second quarter. The retailer...

 



BLOG & ONLINE NEWS

 

Post Production Company Spends $13 Mil on Toluca Lake Complex

RENTV.com

 

Blueprint Post Production purchased a 60.1k sf office complex in Toluca Lake. The property, located at 4142, 4144 and 4146 Lankershim Blvd, south of the 134 Fwy and east of the 101 Fwy, traded for $13 mil, or $216/sf. The complex...

 


Historic Restoration Project in Santa Monica Blends Old and New

Curbed LA

 

Originally built in 1928, the Santa Monica Professional building was devoted to medical uses before switching to office space sometime in the 1950s. Now it's on the cusp of another change: As soon as 2018, the structure will be fully renovated...

 


Avison Young Enlists Kevill to Oversee and Expand U.S. Investment Sales

CoStar.com

 

Avison Young has recruited Eastdil Secured investment sales specialist John Kevill to be its managing director of U.S. capital markets. Kevill, who was also named a principal with the firm, will oversee the expansion of Avison Young's investment sales services throughout...

 

FULL TEXT


3 Trends From the Leading-Edge of Workplace Design

Entrepreneur

 

In today’s highly competitive business climate, companies of all scales, sizes and maturity levels need to maximize the ROI they are pulling from their workplaces. Clearly, workplace ROI means different things to different organizations. For fast growth companies with highly mobile staff, they may need a workplace that infuses adaptable, technology-rich environments so people can do their work whenever and however they need. For organizations that bring clients into their offices frequently, creating a space that communicates brand and leaves an impression is key.

Recent data regarding Millennials and Generation Z reveals the workplace is one of their top five considerations when making employment decisions. It’s fair then to assume they’ll also use this criteria to evaluate business partners moving forward, too. Knowing this, organizations should understand that strategic investments in their workplace are investments in their future success.

With the workplace, each new year brings new trends companies need to consider and address. Below is a look at how technology, nature and discipline integration are helping organizations from all industries begin to better use their workplaces to empower staff and business growth.

Use technology as a tool, not a buzzword. 

We all know new generations entering the workforce have relied on cell phones, GPS and tools like WhatsApp to connect their entire lives. Knowing this isn’t just an opportunity for companies to make jokes about how times have changed or reminisce, it’s an opportunity they need to seize to strengthen their business. DCI Artform, one of the largest retail shopper marketing agencies in the world, recently opened a new office in Chicago that relies on technology to create ease of access to clients and greater visibility for its company in the region. The new workplace offers a digital CAVE environment to virtually showcase retail environments. The CAVE uses high-resolution laser and stereoscopic projection and 3D graphics to put DCI Artform’s clients in virtual spaces where they can experience and test retail designs before they invest capital. Along with being a tool for business partners, DCI Artform’s CAVE also helps attract innovative employees drawn to the organization’s forward-thinking view of retail science.

At the core of DCI Artform’s success is a deep understanding of the technology their clients and employees need. Rather than rely on guesswork or model their efforts after another organization, they researched work patterns and strategically invested capital resources. More organizations need to take this level of insight into their technology infrastructure – the more they understand, the more benefits they’ll see through client engagement and employee retention over time.

Leverage nature and outdoor space.

Numerous studies and extensive data highlight fresh air’s ability to increase energy levels, boost our immune systems and help us live healthier lives. Still, most of our workplaces are designed to keep us inside during our workdays. Organizations like Clorox are beginning to change this by introducing more outdoor spaces where employees can connect, log-in and complete work during the day. Not only do these spaces increase access to fresh air and daylight, they often create opportunities for more active postures and less sitting. Clorox new campus’ in California features courtyard-style design features with rows of white deck chairs where employees can comfortably sit for individual work, hold meetings or relax and enjoy lunch. Reliable WiFi networks ensure employees can remain productive and connected while catching a few rays during the day.  Another example comes from Southwest General Health Center where their new health facility offers open-air balconies and winter gardens on each floor so staff can step outside – even if just for a few moments at a time – during their non-stop, busy days treating patients.

Space constraints may keep smaller companies from introducing courtyards with deck chairs, but smaller steps like finding workplaces with an outdoor garden, roof terrace or nearby park can help employees stay healthy, engaged and productive over time.

Integrate disciplines. Empower multi-disciplinary thinking.

Organizations have been recognizing the need to integrate disciplines to spur creative thinking and innovation over recent years, but it will soon become a necessity as educational institutions continue to graduate students expecting such collaboration to be infused in an organization’s DNA. The Malcolm X College in Chicago recently opened a new School of Health Sciences that brings medical and research disciplines together to educate students that will close the gap between the current market of qualified healthcare professionals and the projected 84,000 new healthcare jobs in the region over the next decade. The facility combines a virtual hospital complete with operating and emergency rooms with nursing, radiology, respiratory care and science labs. Other features include an exercise and sports sciences area and an ambulance and EMT simulation space. Texas Christian University’s (TCU) Rees Jones Hall houses the TCU IdeaFactory, a unit of the College of Science & Engineering – where students can develop ideas, advance prototypes, conduct market analysis and test. The facility surrounds the IdeaFactory with diverse programs including its Institute of Child Development and the TCU Energy Institute all organized around a central atrium to spur creative, intellectual “collisions” across multiple fields.

Companies that aren’t already responding to this shift by better integrating their workplaces are behind the curve and need to act fast. Not only will employees continue to seek out workplaces that promote connectivity and multi-disciplinary collaboration, but organizations can accelerate innovation and new ideas if they do it effectively. Designing for collaboration doesn’t just mean reorganizing desks so HR is sitting next to operations, it means strategically orchestrating workspaces to promote synergies between teams, connect diverse skill sets and introducing collaboration spaces where this connectivity can further develop. Designing for multi-disciplinary thinking requires a plan and every organization needs one.

With more emerging and fast-growth companies recognizing the workplace can help accelerate their success, it’s key they focus on how they invest in it as a resource. While trends can bend and shift over time, these three seem critical to advancing success with employees and clients into the future.

-Meg Osman

Steptoe to Close Century City Office, Move Lawyers Downtown

Bloomberg

 

Sometimes to take a step forward, you have to take a step back. Or so goes the rationale among Steptoe & Johnson leadership in the greater Los Angeles legal market.

The law firm is closing its Century City office and consolidating operations downtown, its Los Angeles managing partner Jason Levin told Big Law Business in an interview on Monday. Levin estimated that the offices will be merged, as he put it, before the July 4 weekend.

“We opened a Century City office about 10 years ago as a convenience for lawyers who live on the West Side of L.A.,” said Levin. “But with two campuses, it was difficult to get people together and interact. With our lease coming up for renewal, we thought it would be better to keep everyone at a single office.”

He said the Century City office lease, which takes up one floor at 2121 Avenue of the Stars, is set to expire in December of 2017, but that the transition of attorneys is starting now because “getting people together sooner rather than later is a good thing.”

“We are looking for a period of time in the next 60 days to make the transition with the minimal amount of disruption,” he said, of the two or three lawyers who will make the transition.

At its height, the office staffed around 38 lawyers in April 2012, according to the WayBack Machine, which shows archived website pages. This January, it staffed 10 lawyers, while today, that figure is around six, Levin said.

In early April, Jenner & Block announced that it had hired the latest round of partners from Steptoe: Michael McNamara, who joined Jenner as co-chair of the firm’s professional responsibility practice, and litigation partner Kristen Hicks Spira.

“It’s a combination of things,” said Levin of the Century City closing.

“There were some partner departures that were either independent of, or perhaps dependent on ongoing discussions of merging the two offices. The discussion of whether or not to have two offices is as old as the Century City office itself. There were clearly people who thought they wanted to stay on the West Side, in Century City, no matter what. Because of that, it might have accelerated the process. But the possibility had long been in our minds.”

So, who is staying and who is going?

Intellectual property partner Seong Hwan Kim has given notice that he won’t be moving to Steptoe’s downtown Los Angeles office. Instead, he’ll bring at least a pair of attorneys with him to a competitor, although he hasn’t officially announced which firm he’s joining.

Kim, who is a member of the Steptoe executive committee, did not respond to a request for comment.

Levin wished Kim well and acknowledged that he was a significant business generator at the firm, but he stressed that the consolidation in Los Angeles doesn’t mean Steptoe is de-emphasizing expansion in Southern California. Quite the contrary, actually.

“What I think more than anything this says is the need to bring attorneys together and not have us siloed in different offices and different groups,” he said. “I think keeping people together and feeding off each other fosters an atmosphere that creates greater growth and cost efficiency.”

The firm staffs 17 attorneys in Los Angeles altogether and will look to recruit in its core areas: toxic tort and environmental litigation, labor and employment, intellectual property and general commercial litigation, Levin said.

Levin did not have real estate space or cost savings figures to provide Big Law Business

-Casey Sullinvan

California suburbs growing fast as many are priced out of cities, data show

Los Angeles Times

 

Suburban areas on the outskirts of the red-hot Los Angeles and San Francisco areas grew especially fast last year, state officials reported Monday.

San Joaquin County, home to Stockton, grew faster than any other, up 1.3% to 733,000 people. The area has become increasingly popular for people fleeing astronomical San Francisco Bay Area housing prices while remaining within commuting distance.

San Joaquin was followed by Yolo, Riverside and Santa Clara counties.

The fastest-growing city was Vernon, which grew a whopping 72% thanks to a new housing development that brought its population to 210.

Among cities with at least 30,000 people, the fastest-growing were concentrated primarily in the Inland Empire and Orange County: Porterville, Eastvale, Lake Forest, Beaumont and Lake Elsinore.

The number of new housing units in California declined last year for the first time since the start of the economic recovery, due mostly to wildfires that scorched more than 2,000 homes.

California's housing supply rose by 67,110 units last year, compared with an increase of 69,435 units in 2014. Demographers at the California Department of Finance say the number of new units would have been about equal to the year before if the destructive wildfires in Lake and Calaveras counties had not hit.

Of the new units created, just over half were multi-family dwellings such as apartments and condominiums. Los Angeles, the state's largest city, saw the most growth in housing, with 12,224 new units. It was followed by San Francisco with nearly 2,900, San Jose with just over 2,000 and San Diego with about 1,750.

The housing hit came as California's population grew to 39.1 million last year, an increase of 348,000 people, just under 1%.

Most of the state's 482 cities saw population gains, but 44 cities shrank and one — tiny Tehama, population 431 — was unchanged.

-Staff

SPECIAL REPORT: Entertainment Tenants Shrink Vacancy in Burbank

San Fernando Valley Business Journal

 

Both Burbank and Glendale saw an uptick in office investments in the first quarter. Vacancy rates decreased and asking rents rose as small firms and large production companies continued to migrate to the markets.

The Burbank market, predominantly occupied by entertainment companies, continued to improve, with a 3 percent decrease in office vacancy rates compared with the year-ago quarter, according to data from Colliers International. In the first quarter, the rate declined to 13.7 percent.

However, Glendale actually led the way. With the economy on the mend, brokers noted an increase in small insurance, law and medical firms leasing and acquiring office space in the area. The city’s vacancy rate dropped to 12.1 percent in the first quarter, according to Colliers.

“There has been an increase in rents over the past year in the Glendale market,” said Steven Baker, vice president of Glendale-based Stevenson Real Estate Services. “I’ve been seeing a lot of investors, especially doctors, buying businesses. Glendale is a great community for mom-and-pop investors.”

Glendale showed a 3.5 percent decrease in vacancy rates compared with the year-ago quarter, according to Colliers.

“We look to reposition buildings. If you can park it and convert it to office, then there are a lot of opportunities,” Baker said.

Celina Marciano, owner of Healing Crossroads, a therapeutic center that offers psychological services, acquired an 8,500-square-foot office in Burbank for $2 million. The psychologist acquired the space in late March and was represented by Fred Tsarukyan, a broker at Encino-based Supra Realty.

The tightening in vacancy rates led to increased asking rents. Burbank ratcheted up to $3.10 a square foot, an 8-cent increase compared with the year-ago quarter, according to Colliers data. Glendale followed closely behind with a $2.57 average lease rate, an increase of 2 cents compared with the year-ago quarter.

“What we expect to see is that because the entertainment industry is expected to accelerate its need for more office space, the market expects that Burbank should leave single-digit vacancy before Glendale,” said Bill Boyd, senior managing director at brokerage Charles Dunn Co.’s Tri-City office in Glendale.

One large entertainment deal that took place last quarter was the 56,500-square-foot Victory Studios sale in Glendale. Hileman Cowley Partners, a real estate firm in Culver City, acquired the building at 1840 Victory Blvd. from REIT Victory Partners and Mason Trust in March for $15.4 million. The building is occupied by Telepictures Production, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment that produces television shows such as “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “TMZ.”

“Usually you’d find that Burbank would have rents in line with Glendale because it has more vacancy, but it doesn’t,” Boyd explained. “Historically, Burbank is more popular and the studios have wanted to be there. That’s why there is a higher rental rate even though there’s more vacancy.”

– Champaign Williams

Guitar Center Sets Up New West Coast Distribution Center

Commercial Property Executive

 

Rialto, Calif.—Industrial space is in no short supply in the Inland Empire, but Guitar Center’s latest leasing agreement just put a dent in the vacancy numbers right before a substantial inventory expansion is slated for the year’s second quarter. The retailer has secured roughly 220,000 square feet of industrial space in Rialto following a deal with landlord Prologis.

The leasing agreement was arranged by JLL, who worked on behalf of Guitar Center, while the landlord was represented by Lee & Associates. The JLL team consisted of Gary Horowitz, Mike Fowler and Kamil Agha.

Located at 1508 W. Casmalia St. in Rialto, the Rialto I-210 Distribution Center offers a total of 428,208 square feet of industrial space. The asset is located on an 18.7-acre site that offers 32’ clear heights, 55 dock high positions, 2 ground level doors, and 178 parking spaces, as well as an ESFR sprinkler system. The suite will become Guitar Center’s new West Coast distribution headquarters. “This facility will enhance control of our supply chain while providing for future growth”, Guitar Center’s Senior Vice President of Global Supply Chain, Kevin Roundtree, pointed out.

JLL forecasted a significant increase of industrial inventory in the second quarter. “As speculative development continues in the Inland Empire, tenants will benefit from a greater selection of modern distribution facilities, allowing for more efficient operations,” according to JLL Executive Vice President Mike Fowler.

-Alex Girda

Post Production Company Spends $13 Mil on Toluca Lake Complex

RENTV.com

 

Blueprint Post Production purchased a 60.1k sf office complex in Toluca Lake. The property, located at 4142, 4144 and 4146 Lankershim Blvd, south of the 134 Fwy and east of the 101 Fwy, traded for $13 mil, or $216/sf. The complex consists of three buildings built in 1964, 1977 and 1987. The property is adjacent to Universal City, and is close to NBC Universal and CBS Paramount, as well as the 101 and 170 freeways.

Blueprint Post Production is a post-production services company that provides production office space, editing bays, online and audio finishing for the both television and film. The company plans to occupy 60 percent of the property for use as post-production space servicing its clients in the entertainment industry. The company was already the largest tenant at this property prior to the sale.

Stacy Vierheilig-Fraser with Charles Dunn Company represented the buyer and the seller, Lankershim Media Center Associates, LP, an entity of LS Capital, an owner and operator of multi-tenant retail and industrial properties. Established in 1998, the firm has assets in 11 states.

Staff

Historic Restoration Project in Santa Monica Blends Old and New

Curbed LA

 

Originally built in 1928, the Santa Monica Professional building was devoted to medical uses before switching to office space sometime in the 1950s. Now it's on the cusp of another change: As soon as 2018, the structure will be fully renovated and put to use as part of a mixed-use hotel complex, according to a release from Howard Laks Architects, which is designing the project. (The developer is building owner Alex Gorby.)

Located at Wilshire Boulevard and Seventh Street, the Spanish Colonial Revival building ("with Moorish details," says the LA Conservancy) was originally designed by Arthur E. Harvey; its unique Y shape was intended to "accommodate sunlight and ocean breezes." It's estimated that restoration of the 1928 structure—bringing it up to code, repairing any lingering damage from the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and the like—will cost about $11 million.

The plan to refurbish the handsome building and pair it with a new one to make a hotel complex has been underway for many years, but only at the end of March received final approval from Santa Monica's Joint Design Review Body.

As seen in renderings, new construction will go in around the historic structure, on the parking lot next to the Santa Monica Professional building. At the ground level, "open space between the buildings includes a retail court and cut-through paseo connecting Wilshire Blvd. with 7th Street," the statement from the architects says.

Altogether, the project will have 270 hotel rooms and suites, 13,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and 6,000 square feet of meeting rooms.

Construction on the complex's 318-space, four-level underground parking garage is scheduled to begin in August of this year; renovations and the above-ground portion of construction are expected to begin sometime in 2017, according to a timeline provided by the architect. The completed hotel is planned to open in the fall of 2018.

-Bianca Barragan

Avison Young Enlists Kevill to Oversee and Expand U.S. Investment Sales

CoStar.com

 

Avison Young has recruited Eastdil Secured investment sales specialist John Kevill to be its managing director of U.S. capital markets. Kevill, who was also named a principal with the firm, will oversee the expansion of Avison Young's investment sales services throughout the U.S.

Based in the Washington, D.C. office, Kevill will also focus on the local investment property marketplace and help build up the company's service offerings in the region.

"Avison Young has achieved dramatic growth in our business over the past several years and we have significant resources to attract new talent and grow the business," said Earl Webb, president, U.S. Operations for Avison Young. "John joins at a time of increased focus and commitment of resources in the capital markets business and will help drive the recruitment and new business efforts in DC and nationally."

Prior to joining Eastdil in 2011 where he served as a managing director, Kevill worked at JLL for 17 years, assuming leadership of JLL's Washington DC capital markets team in 2003. Over his 24-year career, Kevill has completed more than $25 billion in transactions on behalf of numerous clients, from pension funds to financial institutions.

Kevill is a member of the Association for Foreign Investment in Real Estate (AFIRE) and Urban Land Institute. He holds a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Virginia and earned an MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

-Rachel Ladysh

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