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Equity Office Daily Brief: May 5, 2016

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Daily Brief

May 05, 2016

  EquilityOffice

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JLL Report Sees Solid Year Ahead for CRE

Commercial Property Executive

 

Despite recent market volatility, JLL's latest U.S. economic outlook predicts good market fundamentals will allow commercial real estate to hold strong in the coming year. Through all the volatility, the U.S. economy is poised for a solid 2016, according to JLL’s recently...

 


L.A. votes to resurrect partially built Hollywood Target

Los Angeles Times

 

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to allow construction of a long-stalled Target shopping center in Hollywood to resume, nearly two years after a judge ordered work halted at the site. On a 13-0 vote, the council revised the planning...

 


SPECIAL REPORT: Camarillo Rising

San Fernando Valley Business Journal

 

Camarillo is kind of like Ventura County’s middle child, bypassed by housing and retail developers for its bigger, denser neighboring cities to the east and west. But with about 1,600 housing units under construction or scheduled to come on the market in...

 



BLOG & ONLINE NEWS

 

Cypress Equities Buys Burbank Town Center, Partial Redevelopment Planned

CoStar.com

 

Cypress Equities, a Dallas-based development and property investment firm, acquired 1 million square feet of the 1.2 million-square-foot Burbank Town Center in Burbank, CA. The seller, Crown Realty & Development, Inc., sold the shopping center for $250 million, or about $250...

 


The Future of Work: Report on Changing Office Spaces Signals Shifts in the U.S. Economy

Curbed LA

 

Coworking and flexible workspaces are more than just the latest trend, or a new driver of the office space market. According to an exhaustive report released this week by The Instant Group, the strong growth in this sector, increasing nationally at a...

 


Exclusive Q&A: SSV Properties President Talks El Segundo And What It Has To Offer

Bisnow

 

SSV Properties president and founder David Jordon is bullish on El Segundo. His company specializes in developing both small and large mixed-use, creative office and residential properties. David is one of the all-star panelists scheduled to speak at Bisnow’s The Future...

 


This Week's LA and OC Deal Sheet

Bisnow

 

A Del Taco property (2060 S La Cienega Blvd) near Kaiser Permanente in West LA just sold in an all-cash deal. Bisnow caught up with Hanley Investment Group Real Estate Advisors SVP Jeremy McChesney, who repped the seller, to get the...

 

FULL TEXT


JLL Report Sees Solid Year Ahead for CRE

Commercial Property Executive

 

Despite recent market volatility, JLL's latest U.S. economic outlook predicts good market fundamentals will allow commercial real estate to hold strong in the coming year.

Through all the volatility, the U.S. economy is poised for a solid 2016, according to JLL’s recently released Q1 2016 U.S. Economic Outlook. The same holds true for the commercial real estate market.

“We may be entering the latter stages of the cycle, and with various economic and geopolitical risks like the slowdown in China and the risk of a BREXIT we should expect more volatility,” JLL Managing Director Benjamin Breslau told Commercial Property Executive. “However, we still believe 2016 will be another solid year for commercial real estate in the United States. In fact, 2017 should be OK, too. An analogy that I think works well is baseball: We are in what I would say is maybe the seventh-inning stretch of this cycle, but there is game left to be played and always the potential for this to go into extra innings.”

According to the report, economic fundamentals are the biggest driver in forecasting a solid year ahead for CRE.

“In the U.S., job growth has remained positive for an impressively long time, and we expect that to continue resulting in further tightening of the labor markets and wages finally kicking in to modest growth mode,” Breslau said. “Also, the supply side of the real estate equation remains relatively in check, despite some pockets of healthy construction in multifamily, industrial hubs and some select office markets. Despite the fragile financial markets, this is a pretty good fundamentals mix for real estate.”

When it comes to the leasing market, the first quarter’s volatility and fears of a recession in 2016 created a sort of “wait-and-see” mentality among tenants, and the report cites dramatic pullbacks in specific markets like Houston due to oil price declines. There are some cracks showing in tech as well, which has been in high gear for several years. However, there’s still solid demand overall, and Breslau said leasing activity should remain healthy, maybe even accelerate a bit as the year progresses from the slow start, particularly in the office, multifamily and industrial sectors.

Millennials have been a catalyst for growth and change in this cycle, driving demand for urban, amenitized, transit-oriented, mixed-use “live, work, play” type environments.

“They have fueled the demand in new edgy neighborhoods, micro apartments and creative office space,” Breslau said. “Millennials demand a more flexible, mobile and customized experience rather than traditional, generic and structured. Employers across industries are chasing these young knowledge workers as opposed to the other way around as has happened in the past, which has big implications on real estate.”

Office vacancy is near an eight-year low right now, and JLL expects continued rent growth in 2016 overall.

“Demand remains strong in central business districts and the price gap between urbanized centers and others has widened significantly. However, if we’re looking at where the most growth lies, it is probably in the suburbs,” Breslau said. “Suburban office supply continues to attract tenants, especially as the suburbs become more transit-oriented and fill in needed amenities. With the leading edge of Millennials in their mid-30s and entering a different phase of family life, one of the biggest opportunities of the next decade could be urbanizing key hubs in the suburbs.”

-Keith Loria

L.A. votes to resurrect partially built Hollywood Target

Los Angeles Times

 

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to allow construction of a long-stalled Target shopping center in Hollywood to resume, nearly two years after a judge ordered work halted at the site.

On a 13-0 vote, the council revised the planning and zoning rules that govern the Sunset Boulevard site, ensuring that Target's 74-foot-tall retail center would be permitted on the property.

Superior Court Judge Richard L. Fruin Jr. struck down the council's approval of the project in 2014, leaving the three-story structure an empty and partly finished husk. In his decision, Fruin said the council had failed to show Target would suffer an "unnecessary hardship" if it was forced to comply with the city's height rules, which limited shopping centers to no more than 35 feet at that location.

Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, who represents part of Hollywood, welcomed Wednesday's vote, saying construction should resume within weeks. But foes of the project, who have been challenging the development since 2008, said they will file another lawsuit — this time arguing that an environmental impact report should have been prepared on the changes to city planning rules.

"It’s just going to go back to court," said Hollywood resident Doug Haines, who belongs to the La Mirada Avenue Neighborhood Assn., the entity that sued over the Target project.

"Rather than change the project to comply with the judge’s orders," he added, "they just decided to change the law."

O'Farrell said the city has lost out on much-needed tax revenues as a result of the long-running Target fight. After the vote, he voiced confidence that the latest council decision will withstand another challenge.

"This process underwent such scrutiny that I'm sure we will be on firm legal ground next time around," he said.

The saga has upset business leaders and a number of residents, who say the shopping center has widespread support.

"Everyone who lives in the community needs this Target and wants it,"  said Hollywood businessman Brian Folb, appearing before council members earlier this week. "And it’s just a shame that these technicalities had to keep this important amenity for the community from the residents."

Target's partly finished shopping center has served as a glaring reminder of the city's struggle to ensure that its development decisions can withstand court challenges.

Last year, city officials ordered a 22-story apartment building to be vacated after a judge struck down the council's approval of the project. A judge also invalidated the city's approval of the Millennium skyscraper project, saying the city had failed to properly assess the project's effects on nearby neighborhoods. Both are in Hollywood.

In recent weeks, Target also had become enmeshed in a debate over a city requirement that a child care facility be included as part of the project.

Critics said the facility should be located at the Target site. O'Farrell said Target will pay a fee to pay for child care services near its store. The exact amount will be determined by the Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners, he said.

Target officials said the project will provide the area with 250 full- and part-time permanent jobs. The council's decision should allow the project to be finished sometime next year, said John Dewes, the company's regional development manager.

"We look forward to resuming construction and opening the store," he said.

-David Zahnizer

SPECIAL REPORT: Camarillo Rising

San Fernando Valley Business Journal

 

Camarillo is kind of like Ventura County’s middle child, bypassed by housing and retail developers for its bigger, denser neighboring cities to the east and west.

But with about 1,600 housing units under construction or scheduled to come on the market in the next five years, along with more than 500,000 square feet of retail space, fortunes have shifted for the city. A new highway interchange provides quick access to hitherto-vacant parcels and land use changes have freed more land for development. As a result, builders who have been sitting on entitled projects are starting to dig.

Camarillo stands to get so many new homes, townhomes and apartments that they will expand its current residential inventory by 6 percent. Some real estate experts say that’s a lot, but city planners counter that the growth has been accounted for and is controlled by annual quotas set by the city, limiting the number of units. For the last two years, Camarillo has entitled its full quota of market-rate dwellings.

Comstock Homes is one developer whose interest in the city peaked in light of the changes. The El Segundo developer bought 43 acres in 2014 about a quarter mile from the city’s Springville Drive off ramp to Highway 101 that were already entitled. The company is building 315 homes and townhomes. An additional 60 affordable-income apartments are under construction there by another builder.

Since pre-sales of its homes began in February, Comstock has sold 14 and nearly 280 people came to its mid-April open house to see the models.

“We have a strong interest, and our interest list is growing,” said Lisa Harkson, sales manager for the new communities, named Elacora. “Camarillo is a small, quaint town, and it’s a desirable place to live. It has easy access to the freeway and it’s right in the middle of Santa Barbara and L.A.”

Growth plans

Camarillo planners say there were slow spells during the Great Recession and some years after when nothing was proposed or built. In 2008 and 2009, for instance, no projects were entitled, and only five dwelling units were built between 2009 and 2012. By 2011, 309 projects were entitled. Between 2014 and 2015, nearly 800 dwelling units were entitled while almost 500 were built. Going forward, more entitled projects are starting as interest rates and credit availability are favorable for developers.

“It’s not a spike; it’s really balanced growth,” said Joseph Vacca, director of community development, which handles planning. “We’ve managed growth very well historically since adopting growth control. We allow only 400 units per year of allotments. We have all of it – from new rental units to housing for entry-level homeowners and then those that move up. That’s what makes our development well-balanced, and also creates opportunity for a variety of people.”

Developer interest has increased as more land has become accessible. Comstock is able to build its homes in the Springville area close to the Springville Drive interchange because of the Springville Specific Plan, approved in 2008 and which changed the land use of nearly 174 acres that once held spinach, lettuce and broccoli – and most recently strawberries, Ventura County’s most valuable crop – to now allow residential and retail. As a result, nearly 450 apartments and condominiums approved for the area will probably start site work later this summer by Development Planning Services in Camarillo, according to the city. A proposal for another roughly 180 single-family homes there by the same builder is under review.

The Springville area is also perfect for retail, developers say, thanks to the Springville Drive interchange, which the city finished in 2012.

That interchange helped attract L.A. shopping center developer Primestor Development Inc. to obtain majority ownership in early 2014 of a nearly 45-acre parcel on the south side of the 101 that gives it clear visibility from the highway. Primestor, which shares ownership of the land with Westlake Village retail developer Bob Selleck, received its entitlement last month to build a nearly 500,000-square-foot shopping center named Amara.

Alan Araki, Primestor’s managing director, said completion of the interchange was a main factor in its decision to get involved in the project.

“It is a nice big swath of land available with freeway location in an area proven as a retail destination (because of the success of the Camarillo Premium Outlets and other nearby stores) and with a brand-new freeway interchange, so that provides egress and ingress. There were lots of positives,” he said.

Another reason is the influx of housing, Araki said.

“Obviously you want people, and obviously the more housing the city builds, the better,” he explained. “This growth is clearly a benefit – not the overriding variable to doing the deal – but a positive.”

Selleck is also proposing to build retail adjacent to Amara on another 20 or so acres he bought in 2007 and 2008. The site needs a change to retail from industrial in the city’s General Plan, which Selleck proposes because there’s plenty of industrial space already in Camarillo, he said. Plus, it’s time Camarillo reap the benefits of new retail it lost out on when developers built in Oxnard and Thousand Oaks instead.

For example, Shea Properties opened The Collection shopping center in Oxnard in 2012 in conjunction with the RiverPark residential project. In the Thousand Oaks retail market, the Shoppes at Westlake Village opened in 2014. Now the new off-ramp has given Camarillo new relevance.

“It wouldn’t have been attractive to retailers if they were just fronting on a freeway; they really needed to have the improved access of being located right at a freeway off-ramp,” Selleck said. “It (Camarillo) just kind of had to wait its turn.”

The rezoning of about 20 acres of industrial space once occupied by Imation Corp. in the Village Gateway area, which is divided by Dawson Drive between Pleasant Valley Road and Old Town, opened the door for San Diego developer Fairfield Residential Co.’s 450-unit apartment complex called Andorra.

Fairfield is installing the infrastructure for the complex on the property it bought in 2013. It is also selling an adjacent 7 acres to another developer proposing to build about 90 townhomes, but that hasn’t received city entitlements yet.

To build Andorra, Fairfield agreed to put in a new road, upgrade the utility lines and sewer system under Lewis Road and give $615,000 to the city’s new water conservation fund for building water-saving projects. Senior Vice President Larry Scott said all that work amounts to about $6 million.

The company likes Camarillo’s demographics – an average household income of $119,00 a year, a good school system and a fairly stable local economy, Scott said, plus the difficulty in getting projects entitled and approved. Andorra took four years, he added.

“Yes, there’s (other) housing coming, but it’s been 10 years in the making,” Scott said. “The city is very selective and protective of zoning and not a city where it’s easy to get approved, and couple that with concerns for water and availability. We like that we don’t have to worry about a lot of competing supply coming in to Camarillo.”

Additionally, Scott said, Camarillo’s rental market conditions – low vacancies, low supply and a high median home price – make it a “very favorable climate for apartment development.”

Bedroom community

With so much industrial property shifting to housing and shopping centers, there’s almost nothing left for new industrial buildings.

“Developers are building what they think will sell; apartments have performed so ridiculously well, why go away from that?” said Paul Farry, a senior vice president with L.A.-based brokerage CBRE Group Inc. “We perceive an imbalance in that, where do these people work? What do they do? They go somewhere else for a job because there’s no more industrial development.”

Camarillo has entitled more than 580,000 square feet of proposed industrial projects, but none of it is going to be built anytime soon, according to city planners.

That may be because of a lack of foreseeable demand.

John Fraser, a senior management analyst with the city said filling industrial space has been a challenge.

“There are a number of industrial projects that went up at the wrong time and have never been occupied,” Fraser said. “We have more industrial office space available than we’d like. It’s not a case of people fleeing Camarillo for greener pastures, but just the stock of new units going unfilled. And we still have a healthy number of units not occupied because of the Great Recession.”

According to Farry, industrial buildings in the city are not the right kind for today’s tenants. Many contain too much mezzanine office space.

And there’s a lack of tenant interest in Camarillo. The city, unlike Simi Valley, Moorpark and the Conejo Valley, doesn’t have a tight industrial market, said John DeGrinis, senior executive vice president with Colliers International in Encino.

“The Camarillo market for industrial is very different – for some reason we don’t see a flood of people willing to come down the (Conejo) grade,” DeGrinis said. “If someone is looking at 40,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet, there are 10 alternatives to look at in Camarillo. In Simi Valley there’s one. In Moorpark there are none and in the Conejo Valley there are none. And in the San Fernando Valley, there is nothing.”

Water worries

One small developer sees the potential for office space in Camarillo – medical office, that is.

Carol D’Egidio has applied to the city to build two medical office buildings and some retail on the roughly 1 acre corner parcel her uncle and her father bought in the 1980s.

She said her uncle had a knack for picking out highly marketable properties and loved the site at Oak Canyon and Santa Rosa roads because it’s across from an assisted living facility. He also thought Camarillo had solid growth potential. D’Egidio is proposing the offices and maybe a bank and a restaurant for roughly 9,000 square feet, she said.

“He (my uncle) was an amazing judge of buying property,” D’Egidio said. “One of the things he said about this area – ‘there’s an assisted living home across the street, and this would be good place to have a little center.’”

D’Egidio is waiting to hear from the local water purveyor whether there’s enough water to build.

“You develop now based on having limited water,” she said. “You have to have landscaping that’s going to be drought tolerant and have to meet criteria. They determine what your water allowance is.”

California’s five-year drought may curtail future development, say Camarillo planners.

“With the continued drought and potential water restriction from the state, we don’t know how that may impact those projects that are not fully entitled,” Vacca said.

-Carol Lawrence

Cypress Equities Buys Burbank Town Center, Partial Redevelopment Planned

CoStar.com

 

Cypress Equities, a Dallas-based development and property investment firm, acquired 1 million square feet of the 1.2 million-square-foot Burbank Town Center in Burbank, CA. The seller, Crown Realty & Development, Inc., sold the shopping center for $250 million, or about $250 per square foot.

Eastdil Secured advised Crown Realty on the sale.

Cypress and Crown are planning to work together to redevelop the remaining portion, specifically the 206,000-square foot store that IKEA is planning to vacate. Plans call for that section to be redeveloped into 1,000 apartment units above 50,000 square feet of street-level retail space.

Burbank Town Center includes an 807,000-square-foot mall and 428,000 square feet of retail space on outparcels occupied by AMC Theatres, Ashley Furniture, Barnes & Noble and Crunch Fit­ness, among others.

-Arelene Reyes

The Future of Work: Report on Changing Office Spaces Signals Shifts in the U.S. Economy

Curbed LA

 

Coworking and flexible workspaces are more than just the latest trend, or a new driver of the office space market. According to an exhaustive report released this week by The Instant Group, the strong growth in this sector, increasing nationally at a rate of 10 percent last year to encompass nearly 4,000 locations across the United States, reflects larger shifts in how we work. With more then 40 percent of the American workforce employed on a contingency basis, according to the report, and an increasing number of larger corporations, such as Verizon and Microsoft, buying into the concept of community- and collaboration-oriented workspaces, expect the market for these spaces to continue to expand rapidly.

Not surprisingly, the flexible office and coworking market still clusters around a handful of big metropolitan areas, with half the market in just 50 cities, mostly driven by the growth of TAMI (technology, advertising, media, and information technology) firms. Both San Francisco, which saw a 11.5% increase in desk space last year, and Washington, D.C., which saw a 17.2% jump, are prime examples.

What may be surprising is just how much of the growth in this industry comes from corporate clients, as opposed to the freelances, tech entrepreneurs, and small businesses often portrayed as the natural occupiers for these environments. Instant's report notes that 79% of the companies making deals for spaces of 40 desks or more have been large corporations, and the number of deals of this size have tripled over the last two years, driven by demand from the corporate sector. WeWork, for instance, is hugely popular with Microsoft, according to the report.

This increased demand has been a boon to landlords, who have now been given a new means to market, rent, and profit off their investments. New York City provides a great case study. Pent-up post-recession demand had led to a boom in office space construction—26 million square feet of new space is scheduled for completion—and with older stock unsuitable for the needs of modern tenants, many are turning to flexible or coworking-type layouts, featuring higher density, open spaces with collaborative break-out areas.

Models differ considerably within the industry, with big players, defined as companies with more than 50 locations such as Regus and WeWork, making up on 30% of a fragmented market. The majority of new spaces have been opened by small businesses or landlords looking to activate dormant office space, creating a competitive market with extensive consumer choice.

"The coworking model is highly nuanced and differs considerably across the US," said Michelle Bodick, Managing Director of Instant US. "The focus of the facilities we surveyed varies enormously; some are aimed at building local communities of artisans or minorities together , but also drop-in membership provision for people who want somewhere to work for an hour."

While WeWork continues to grab the headlines, it’s relatively small (66 locations, 2 million square foot of office space), compared to established owner Regus, which operates 3,000 centers globally in 900 cities and is pivoting towards providing more and more flexible space. The company opened its 1,000th U.S. location last year, has begun to install community managers in its office centers, and recently acquired Spaces, a Dutch coworking company, with plans to establish the brand in the United States (it’s already opened a handful of locations in California).

As Regus’s growth suggests, the U.S. is certainly not alone in embracing a new type of workspace. The global market for flexible workspace now totals $21 billion, due to a compound growth rate of 21% over the past five years.

Looking ahead, Instant forecasts increased U.S. growth in this agile sector, especially in secondary markets that are both near a primary city, such as Delray Beach or Encino, and have an industrial or manufacturing history (which means plenty of large factories and industrials spaces ripe for conversion).  More corporate clients are turning to this kind of space for innovation labs and in-house incubators, and the desire for a different experience with more networking opportunities means more demand for operators large and small. Looks like the old-fashioned dream of a corner office may need to be reconsidered.

-Patrick Sisson

Exclusive Q&A: SSV Properties President Talks El Segundo And What It Has To Offer

Bisnow

 

SSV Properties president and founder David Jordon is bullish on El Segundo. His company specializes in developing both small and large mixed-use, creative office and residential properties. David is one of the all-star panelists scheduled to speak at Bisnow’s The Future of El Segundo event May 12 at Utah Avenue Campus in El Segundo.Bisnow recently caught up with David to discuss SSV Properties, its goals and the potential David sees in El Segundo. Bisnow: What has been the strategy for your company?

David Jordon: For the last 11 years, we’ve been trying to improve both the work and live environment to better reflect the changes in technology, how people work, how people live, commuting patterns. We’ve done a series of transactions in buildings that reflect that—our desire to improve the environment as the world changes.

Bisnow: Do you see that strategy changing in the next year?

David Jordon: No, I think we’re going to stay consistent with the strategy for the long term. I do think it’s a more challenging environment to try to do new projects at this time because there are so many others that are in the market, and there’s so much capital. The pricing is full right now.

Bisnow: What do you think El Segundo will look like in the future?

David Jordon: The El Segundo of the future is really up to the mayor, city council and residents of El Segundo. They’re going to have to decide how they want to grow, just like other municipalities in LA County. We’re here to try to provide product to fit what they want to do and see. I do think that the El Segundo market has improved tremendously and changed its whole character over the last decade, and I do see more and more higher-end projects like the Apollo at Rosecrans (shown) coming into place if the city wants that as more and more tenants really find that area attractive and want to locate here.

Bisnow: What lessons do you think it has learned, or should learn, from its past?

David Jordon: El Segundo and the South Bay in general went through a very challenging time in the early to mid-1990s because the Cold War ended and the aerospace industry was largely located in the South Bay market and, in particular, El Segundo. I think in today’s world, El Segundo has diversified its tenant base dramatically and has a good range of Fortune 500 companies, aerospace and also new technology companies. I don’t know if that was a conscious decision or just how that’s evolved, but I think El Segundo is much better suited in today’s world because it’s not so dependent on one industry.

Bisnow: Please tell us about some of SSV Properties' latest projects.

David Jordon: We’ve sold most of our projects. We’re staying on at Apollo at Rosecrans, which is a 545k SF creative office rehab in El Segundo. We do have another 130k SF creative office rehab building in Burbank (2777 North Ontario St) that we’re repositioning right now, but other than that, we’re really out looking for new opportunities.

Bisnow: Some are saying we're less than a year from a downturn. What are your thoughts? David Jordon: I’m not smart enough to predict the future, but we’ve had a fairly long run of positive real estate news in Southern California. So it does feel like we’re late in the cycle at this point. Bisnow: What do you enjoy doing in your personal life outside of work? David Jordon: Watching my two daughters play soccer, since that takes up most of my time, and I like being outdoors, hiking, surfing, skiing. To hear more from David and our other panelists, join us at Bisnow's The Future of El Segundo starting at 7:30am May 12 at Utah Avenue Campus. Sign up here!-Karen Jordan

This Week's LA and OC Deal Sheet

Bisnow

 

A Del Taco property (2060 S La Cienega Blvd) near Kaiser Permanente in West LA just sold in an all-cash deal. Bisnow caught up with Hanley Investment Group Real Estate Advisors SVP Jeremy McChesney, who repped the seller, to get the details.

The purchase price was $2.5M or $1,386/SF. Jeremy (pictured here with his two sons) says buyers focused on quality coupled with the current lack of inventory means the single-tenant net-leased investment sales market should remain strong. He says this is especially true for "well-located properties in primary markets occupied by a national or regional credit tenant.”

The 1,804 SF Del Taco building was built in 1965 on a 0.24-acre lot at the hard-corner signalized intersection of La Cienega Boulevard and Cadillac Avenue. It is open around the clock and was remodeled in 2004. Del Taco has nine years remaining on its original lease term guaranteed by a one-unit Del Taco franchisee, according to Jeremy. The lease includes four five-year options to extend with increases. The seller was a private investor from Orange County. Coldwell Banker Commercial's Shah Noorvash repped the buyer, a local family trust.

SALES Lankershim Media Center Associates sold a 60,087 SF office complex in North Hollywood for $13M to Blueprint Post Production. The complex consists of three buildings at 4142, 4144 and 4146 Lankershim Blvd. The buyer plans to take up to 60% of the property to use as a post-production space for its entertainment industry clients. The company was already the largest tenant at the property before the sale. Charles Dunn Co senior managing director Stacy Vierheilig-Fraser repped seller Lankershim Media Center Associates, an entity of LS Capital. Vierheilig-Fraser also repped Blueprint Post Production.

FINANCING NorthMarq Capital arranged $14.59M in financing for three properties. SVP and senior director David Blum arranged the $4.3M refinancing of Whitwest Plaza, a 13,130 SF retail property anchored by a 30,125 SF charter school. Warehouse Shoe Sale is the major tenant. The deal was structured with a 10-year term and 30-year amortization schedule. NorthMarq arranged financing for the borrower through its relationship with a life insurance company.

FINANCING NorthMarq Capital arranged $14.59M in financing for three properties. SVP and senior director David Blum arranged the $4.3M refinancing of Whitwest Plaza, a 13,130 SF retail property anchored by a 30,125 SF charter school. Warehouse Shoe Sale is the major tenant. The deal was structured with a 10-year term and 30-year amortization schedule. NorthMarq arranged financing for the borrower through its relationship with a life insurance company.

NorthMarq Capital EVP and senior managing director Robert R. Hervey arranged financing of $8.44M for Harbor Medical, a 30,687 SF medical office property (2720 North Harbor Blvd) in Fullerton. The deal was structured with a three-year term with two years interest-only and a 30-year amortization schedule.

LEASING Following the relocation of two longtime tenants, Watt Plaza has closed $33M worth of lease deals totaling 75k SF in the twin, 23-story office complex in Century City. The firms signing leases include NSBN LLP on the 16th floor and Resolution Economics for the entire 15th floor. Both tenants come to Watt Plaza from Beverly Hills. JAMS, which provides arbitration, mediation and dispute resolution services, will open a new location on the 14th floor, taking up 12k SF. Two other companies are relocating to Watt Plaza. Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear signed a lease for 10,700 SF on the sixth floor. Lieberman Software Corp signed a lease for 13k SF on the 12th floor.

EXECUTIVE NEWS JLL hired Scott Kaplan as EVP and Erik Westedt (pictured with his family at Four Corners) as SVP to expand its Southern California retail practice. Scott and Erik bring a combined 35-year track record in leasing, development and sale of retail properties locally, regionally and nationally. They have completed deals valued at more than $5B. Scott was an SVP at a global commercial real estate firm and before that was the co-owner of a chain of Hallmark stores in the Chicago area. Erik previously served as VP at a global commercial real estate firm. *** Watt Cos announced VP Brian Burdzinski is the new CFO. Brian has more than 20 years of real estate and finance experience. He previously led finance operations at private and public homebuilding companies, including John Laing Homes and Western Pacific Housing before joining Watt Cos in 2008.

-Karen Jordan

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