The former Los Angeles Daily News headquarters in Warner Center, which has been razed and is ready for commercial and residential development, is getting a new owner, officials said Monday. Ownership of the 4.5-acre parcel at 21221 Oxnard St. just east of...
New Lease Develops at Kodak Site in Hollywood
Los Angeles Business Journal
SIM Group, which provides services to the entertainment industry, signed a 10-year lease last month for 65,000 square feet at the Eastman Kodak Co. campus at 1017 N. Palmas Ave. in Hollywood. Sources said the lease is valued at almost $45...
L.A. Dodgers and marketing firm R/GA open business incubator in Playa Vista
The Los Angeles Dodgers are fielding some new prospects — in Silicon Beach. The baseball team has launched a business incubator program to cultivate a new generation of technology stars. Well-heeled companies often participate in incubator programs to provide seed money, office space...
Speculative Developers Take Medical Projects Off Back Burner
Wall Street Journal
Most developers in the medical-office-building business put speculative projects on hold during the recession. Now some are revisiting the idea, breaking ground on new projects without having any tenants lined up. Consider Downtown West Medical Offices, a medical-office-building project in central Los Angeles...
New York Life Insurance Company expands 5,924 RSF at 801 North Brand Blvd. in Glendale. Deal represented by Tom McDonald of Jones Lang LaSalle.
After years of delay, a proposed hotel is moving forward on the Marina del Rey waterfront. The new hotel - which would be dually operated by Marriott's Courtyard and Residence Inn brands - is slated for an approximately 1.5-acre site near the...
Exclusive Q&A with LA Real Estate Mogul Rick Caruso
Rick Caruso, founder and CEO of Caruso Affiliated, is well-known in SoCal for developing high-end retail destinations and, more recently, ultra-luxury apartments with concierge services similar to a five-star hotel. Now he's using his experience to bring premium services and amenities...
Downtown LA Becomes A Popular Place To Buy A Condo
Los Angeles has been known mostly as a place to work, but the number of residents has more than tripled since 2000. Developers can't build condos fast enough while many offices sit empty. Transcript: DAVID GREENE, HOST: You know, for decades, many Americans went...
LOS ANGELES—Greenland USA has launched sales of its 40-story, 514-unit residential tower II at the $1 billion Metropolis mixed-use development in Downtown Los Angeles. The for-sale condo units will range in price from $500,000 to $2.2 million. This is the Chinese...
The former Los Angeles Daily News headquarters in Warner Center, which has been razed and is ready for commercial and residential development, is getting a new owner, officials said Monday.
Ownership of the 4.5-acre parcel at 21221 Oxnard St. just east of Canoga Avenue transfers on Thursday from Associated Estates Realty Corp. to Brookfield Asset Management Inc. under terms of a multi-billion dollar sale.
In early August, the real estate fund completed its approximately $2.5 billion purchase of Richmond Heights, Ohio-based Associated Estates.
The company had been on the block since late last year.
“After analyzing the company’s strategy, assets and other opportunities, including running a process involving a number of qualified potential buyers, the board unanimously determined that this transaction is the best course of action to maximize shareholder value,” Associated Estates Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey I. Friedman said in an April statement when the deal was first announced.
The Daily News site project will continue under the direction of Fairfield Residential LLC, a unit of Brookfield, according to the company.
Brookfield is based in New York and Fairfield is headquartered in San Diego.
Something seemed to be in the works for a while because Associated’s sign announcing the project had been removed from the chain link fence with a green mesh screen that now surrounds the Oxnard property. The two story building was demolished several months ago and the site scraped clean.
The project is in what was designated the downtown district in the Warner Center 2035 plan, the document that sets planing guidelines for the West San Fernando Valley commercial, retail and residential area.
Downtown is zoned for the highest residential density
And Associated Estates had big plans for the site, a mixed use project that will become common in Warner Center
It also served as example of how the city plans to deal with new development via a streamlined permitting process. Earlier this year, City Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who represents the area, said that development permits were filed on June 26, 2014 and approved on August 28.
Under the old system the permit procession could have taken two years, he said.
Fairfield will continue with the original plan to build 379 luxury apartments with a commercial component in a second phase at a later date, Larry Scott, Fairfield’s Senior Vice President of Development, said.
The apartments will be in two, six story buildings with underground parking, while the office space will be in a seven story building.
And the company is familiar with the Warner Center market.
“Brookfield as successor owner to Associated ... owns the property and Fairfield will be venturing with BF (Brookfield) to develop, construct and manage the new community. Fairfield has been active in the Warner Center submarket for over a decade and owns and manages the Carillon and Carabella communities on De Soto,” Scott said.
Construction will start in December and the first units will be rented in the latter part of next year, he said.
New Lease Develops at Kodak Site in Hollywood
Los Angeles Business Journal
SIM Group, which provides services to the entertainment industry, signed a 10-year lease last month for 65,000 square feet at the Eastman Kodak Co. campus at 1017 N. Palmas Ave. in Hollywood. Sources said the lease is valued at almost $45 million.
When 100 employees from three companies under SIM’s umbrella move in in April, it will bring the property to 100 percent occupancy. The three-story campus, built by Kodak in 1999, will house SIM’s postproduction services arm, Chainsaw Productions, as well as SIM Digital and Bling Digital.
Chainsaw will relocate from 30,000 square feet it takes at 940 N. Orange Drive in Hollywood, but will maintain its West Hollywood location at 7017 Santa Monica Blvd., where it takes 9,000 square feet. SIM and Bling will leave 10,000 square feet they share at 738 N. Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood.
Chainsaw will do postproduction work from the space on shows such as “Game of Thrones” and “American Idol,” said Bill DeRonde, president of the company.
Kodak’s two-building, 110,000-square-foot campus was recently renovated by owner Lincoln Property.
Robert Kane, a Lincoln vice president, said the long-term lease is another sign Hollywood is desirable to companies at the intersection of technology and entertainment. He pointed to Buzzfeed’s recent relocation of its video department to Siren Studios and Netflix Inc.’s lease at Sunset Bronson Studios as other examples.
Matthew Miller of Cresa Los Angeles represented the tenant. Carl Muhlstein, Nicole Mihalka and Hayley Blockley of Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. represented Lincoln.
L.A. Dodgers and marketing firm R/GA open business incubator in Playa Vista
The Los Angeles Dodgers are fielding some new prospects — in Silicon Beach.
The baseball team has launched a business incubator program to cultivate a new generation of technology stars.
Well-heeled companies often participate in incubator programs to provide seed money, office space and mentoring advice about the ins and outs of business. But the team and its partner in the venture, digital marketing firm R/GA, have taken the concept a step further by investing in early-stage sports technology firms.
"This is the first program of its kind in sports," Dodgers Chief Financial Officer Tucker Kain said in an interview. "We are trying to pioneer a new avenue for innovation in our industry and add as much value as we can."
Dodgers owner Guggenheim Baseball Management and Major League Baseball have been working on several fronts to bring America's pastime into the digital age. Among the Dodgers Accelerator participants are a team that wants to speed up ordering hot dogs and beer at concession stands, and another that has built a social network to connect athletes and coaches.
The team announced last spring that it was looking for start-ups at the "intersection of sports, technology, entertainment and media." More than 570 eager firms applied. R/GA executives and the Dodger front office culled the list and picked 10 firms that they believed offered the best commercial prospects.
In August, the Dodgers Accelerator opened in R/GA's office space in Playa Vista, the booming corridor known as Silicon Beach. The initiative was crafted as a three-month training camp for companies that made the cut, and R/GA's loft-like industrial space now buzzes with hipsters in baseball caps, geeks with laptops and even a handful of young men sporting neon pink T-shirts.
The various ventures share the space, and their goals and milestones are handwritten on sticky notes mounted on a community bulletin board.
"Our experience has been nothing but positive," said Cavan Canavan, chief executive and co-founder of Focus Motion, a Santa Monica firm that uses data from a sensor embedded in wearable devices to track and analyze human movements. "This is a more focused accelerator than most, and it has a broader breadth of companies. Some of the companies here have already had success, and we can learn from them."
A New York firm called ProDay is working on a mobile app to let fans "work out" with favorite pro athletes, and Canadian firm Kinduct is developing fitness software. DoorStat, a Chicago company, is working on technology that uses sensors to help stadium owners analyze demographic information about people who come through their doors.
In addition to nurturing young entrepreneurs, the project doubles as something of a venture capital fund to advance the team's strategy to leverage the Dodger brand name. The team owners started developing the program about a year ago after being deluged with requests from fledgling companies who want to be associated with the Dodgers.
"It became pretty clear to us that a brand like the Dodgers — and a platform like the Dodgers — could be incredibly strategic and opportunistic around some of these early-stage businesses," Dodgers CFO Kain said.
The Dodgers and R/GA take ownership stakes in the firms, which can be as much as 6%, in exchange for a $20,000 contribution. In some cases, the Dodgers and R/GA accepted a smaller percentage if the start-up already has taken a product to market or secured other financing.
And if any of the nascent companies beat the long odds and achieve success, the team also will benefit.
"They could help solve some specific problems that we have operationally, or add to the fan experience," Kain said. And the Dodgers get in on the ground floor. "It makes all the sense in the world for our ownership group."
The Dodgers are owned by six investors: controlling shareholder Mark Walter, the CEO of the private equity giant Guggenheim Partners; Todd Boehly, another top Guggenheim executive; veteran entertainment executive Guber; Dodgers President Stan Kasten; Texas oil investor Bobby Patton; and former L.A. Lakers great Magic Johnson.
The group acquired the team from Frank McCourt in 2012 for $2.1 billion. That was nearly six times more than McCourt paid in 2004, when he bought the Dodgers for about $370 million from Rupert Murdoch's Fox conglomerate.
The explosion of sports team valuations in the last few years has largely been fueled by the big-money contracts paid by TV companies desperate for marquee franchises.
Guggenheim Baseball Management negotiated what is believed to one of the most lucrative contracts in all of sports with its 25-year TV rights contract with Time Warner Cable, estimated to be worth $8.35 billion. The team owns the cable TV channel that carries Dodgers regular-season games, SportsNet LA. Time Warner Cable guarantees the fees that it pays Guggenheim, which top $200 million a year.
Guggenheim and other sports team owners have looked for other ways to increase the value of their franchises.
They've upgraded stadiums and added wider food selections to create a premium fan experience, enticing casual fans to fork over big bucks for stadium tickets. They've also boosted the amount of advertising in the ballpark and tapped social media platforms to engage smartphone-connected fans.
"We need to be where our fans are," Kain said. "This helps position us to see where the trends are ahead of time — and take advantage of them."
One of Major Legue Baseball's pressing concerns is making sure that sport appeals to younger, technology-savvy fans.
For good reason: TV viewers for baseball are among the oldest for all of professional sports. The median age of TV viewer during the early games of the playoffs last week was 53.4, according to research by Horizon Media.
But this year's postseason contests, which include the Dodgers' slugfest against the New York Mets, have made strides over last year, according to MLB. TV viewership during the playoffs is up 18%.
More people also have been watching on computers and mobile devices. The league said Monday that there were 3.4 million unique daily mobile views, with the strongest digital markets in New York and Los Angeles.
The inaugural class of the Dodgers Accelerator will graduate next month during an event at Dodger Stadium. The 10 companies will each take turns making a five-minute pitch to a group of investors.
For some of the ventures, the accelerator provided a path to make connections with, not only the Dodgers and financiers but also R/GA. The firm works on marketing campaigns for such companies as Nike, Microsoft, Samsung and Beats Electronics, which was bought by Apple Inc.
One of the participating companies is FieldLevel, which has spent seven years building an enormous private social network to connect athletes with coaches. The platform, which is akin to a LinkedIn for sports, was designed to help steer athletes to colleges where they will be able to play — not sit on the bench.
FieldLevel's founders were both college athletes who are trying to turn their personal frustrations into improvements to the system.
"Recruiting is the lifeblood of sports. If you don't have the right players on your college team, or even on the Dodgers, you are going to lose," said Kai Sato, one of the founders. "If you can get the right kids or right athletes on the right teams, then you are very valuable to the sports ecosystem."
Sato and his business partner, Brenton Sullivan, both 31, now have offices in L.A. and San Diego. More than 15,000 athletes have been placed through the service.
For R/GA, the concepts being developed provide an interesting peek at the future.
"We are not an investment fund — we are not doing this for financial reasons," said Stephen Plumlee, the firm's global chief operating officer. "What we are interested in understanding where tech is. We are a global digital agency, and it is important for us to stay at forefront of innovation for ourselves and our clients. We want to stay ahead of the curve."
Speculative Developers Take Medical Projects Off Back Burner
Wall Street Journal
Most developers in the medical-office-building business put speculative projects on hold during the recession.
Now some are revisiting the idea, breaking ground on new projects without having any tenants lined up.
Consider Downtown West Medical Offices, a medical-office-building project in central Los Angeles expected to be announced this week. The developers plan to build a four-story, 60,000-square-foot contemporary building consisting of primary- or specialty-care medical space that may include a pharmacy or physical-therapy facility on the ground floor.
So far they have zero tenants under contract.
“We see building on spec to be a minimal risk since there is such an overwhelming need for proactive primary care in the central downtown Los Angeles area,” said Becronis, owner of developer Wembley Realty Advisors, one of the partners in the project. “There’s not any large block of space in the area, so this allows health-care providers the opportunity to lease a brand new medical-office building built specifically for health care.”Mr. Becronis said the partnership, which also includes Los Angeles real-estate investment firm Robhana Group and Matar Pacific, of Beaverton, Ore., plans to break ground on the self-financed project in the third quarter of next year and that it will be ready for occupancy in 2018.
“I think right now developers are bullish about speculative health-care developments in the right areas,” he said.
To be sure, bullishness isn’t the prevailing view just yet. Experts say having the right location and demographics are major keys to the viability of any speculative project. If those factors are present, developers “may be in a good spot to attract a large user and may find someone before they even break ground,” said John Wilson, president of HSA PrimeCare, a Chicago developer and manager of build-to-suit medical office buildings.
Another factor that could affect the success of a speculative project is the Affordable Care Act. As the law spurs changes in the industry, speculative developers run the risk that they might complete a building that isn’t specialized enough for the medical tenants they are targeting, said Mr. Wilson.
“The Affordable Care Act is causing a lot of consolidations of providers, or they’re being purchased by health-care systems,” he said. “So there are fewer tenants today, and they need spaces that are not cookie-cutter. That’s why we don’t see a lot of speculative space within the industry.”
Overall medical office development is on the rise. According to Marcus & Millichap, an estimated 8.8 million square feet of medical office space is targeted for delivery across the nation in 2015, up from 7.1 million square feet last year.
Vacancy rates, meanwhile, are on the decline, according to data provider CoStar Group Inc., falling from 9.2% nationally in the third quarter of 2014 to 8.8% in the third quarter of this year.
But nationwide, relatively few speculative projects are being launched, said Scott Niedergang, director of the Healthcare Real Estate Group at brokerage Marcus & Millichap, which handles transactions across the U.S. Most projects require 50% of the space to be pre-leased before they kick off, he said.
Still, some are cropping up. Katy Medical Plaza, Phase II, a 47,000-square-foot medical office building in Katy, a suburb of Houston, is currently 25% leased. The building is under construction and slated for completion in January.
There is an undersupply of medical office space in Katy, and developers have watched rents rise—and prospective tenants turned away—due to lack of space, said Eric Johnson, national director of the Healthcare Advisory Services Group at Transwestern in Houston, which represents the project’s developer, Jacob White Construction Co. of Friendswood, Texas. By building on spec, developers can capitalize on rising rents during the 18 months it typically takes to construct a building, Mr. Johnson said.
“Existing health-care tenants usually have 2.5% to 3% bumps in their leases already, so the developers know the market is increasing,” he added.
Scott Mason, an executive managing director at Cushman & Wakefield in Tysons Corner, Va., said he expects to see more spec development down the road.
“We’re starting to see little snippets of opportunity being pursued by developers in some specific markets,” he said. “It’s too early to call it a trend, but the speculative player has the wherewithal to take risk, so I think you’ll increasingly see people step up in certain markets.”
After years of delay, a proposed hotel is moving forward on the Marina del Rey waterfront.
The new hotel - which would be dually operated by Marriott's Courtyard and Residence Inn brands - is slated for an approximately 1.5-acre site near the intersection of Via Marina and Tahiti Way. Plans call for a pair of low-rise structures which would house a combined total of 288 guest rooms, plus meeting space, a restaurant and a second-floor pool deck overlooking the water.
A six-story building at the northern side of the property would house the proposed Courtyard Marriott. The Courtyard brand, which caters to business travelers, offers free Wi-Fi, in-room desks and numerous working spaces for small group meetings and individual use.
The Residence Inn - intended for a five-story structure at the southern edge of the property - would cater to extended-stay guests through larger suites featuring home comforts such as personal kitchens.
Designs from ACRM Architects call for significant open space, including an outdoor patio, a second-floor pool deck overlooking the Marina, and a 28-foot wide-pedestrian promenade along the waterfront. A proposed wetlands park is planned immediately south of the hotel in a separate project.
Parking for the Courtyard Marriott and Residence Inn hotels would be situated largely within a below-grade garage with accommodatiosn for up to 212 vehicles. An additional 21 public parking spaces would be located at-grade, intended for use by hotel patrons and the visitors to the adjacent park.
Construction of the hotel development would occur over approximately 24 months, but an exact starting date is currently unclear.
The project is significantly smaller in scale than the San Diego-based Hardage Group's earlier proposal for the site, which would have created a 19-story tower. However, even the reduced scale of the current proposal has drawn stiff opposition from a vocal group of Marina del Rey residents.
Exclusive Q&A with LA Real Estate Mogul Rick Caruso
Rick Caruso, founder and CEO of Caruso Affiliated, is well-known in SoCal for developing high-end retail destinations and, more recently, ultra-luxury apartments with concierge services similar to a five-star hotel. Now he's using his experience to bring premium services and amenities to the creative office market at the Masonic Temple (W.E. O'Neil Construction) in Glendale and create unique experiences for visitors to California's first five-star, beachfront hotel in Montecito.
Bisnow: With the Masonic Temple project, it’s obvious you’re taking creative office to the next level by leveraging Americana At Brand to provide tenants amenities and services tailored to individual needs. Do you have any other projects like this in the works?
Rick Caruso: We’d like to do more projects like this. It’s a nice, good way to create interesting office projects when retail is already embedded in the location. We’re looking for more acquisition opportunities around our other retail properties—The Grove (West LA), The Commons (Calabasas), The Promenade (Westlake) and Glendale (Americana at Brand)—suitable for conversion to creative office.
Bisnow: The Masonic Temple was in pretty bad condition when you bought it. What were the greatest challenges to making this place habitable, particularly in light of CBRE’s short time frame for moving in?
Rick Caruso: The Masonic Temple had been vacant 50 years. There were no systems—air conditioning or plumbing. There wasn’t much in the building at all, except a few dead pigeons and rats. It had to be entirely gutted and rebuilt. There was an enormous amount of structural work required because we wanted to install large windows. And then there was the historic nature of the building. So it was a very complicated project. Our head of construction, Tom Veje, said he could get it done in time, and I have great confidence in him and his team. And Gensler really stepped up to the plate. We ended up with an enduring building, with beautiful old wood ceilings and beams, which will be a Class-A office tower with historic architecture.
Bisnow: Will there be other tenants at the Masonic Temple besides CBRE?
Rick Caruso: I think CBRE wants the balance of floors. They’re so excited about moving here, chances are they will take it all, except for the ground floor, where we’re putting in a very popular Westside fine-dining restaurant.
Bisnow: We've heard rumors that LA County has approached you about replacing Fisherman’s Village in Marina del Rey with a mixed-use project. What’s the status of this project?
Rick Caruso: I’d like to do more in the Marina. Our Waterside (4700 Admiralty Way) project is highly successful. It is producing strong returns. The Marina is a real solid area. The Fisherman’s Village project is not within our control. We’ve had discussions with the leaseholder, but he hasn’t made a decision.
Bisnow: The Palisades Village shopping district has been around since the 1920s. Are you restoring the old structures and re-tenanting the project like you did at Waterside in the Marina? What’s involved in this project?
Rick Caruso: We have 100k SF of new buildings going in. We bought the whole area and are tearing down existing buildings to create a charming coastal village that’s basically akin to The Hamptons. The old buildings were suffering from deferred maintenance. Some stores even had to close because the former owner didn’t do needed upkeep. With new construction, we now have an opportunity to increase parking and put it underground. But we are bringing back the historic Bay Theater. We found the original drawings of the Marquee and are really excited about that. This project will add to the quality of life in the Palisades. People living in the area will be able to walk there to dine and see a movie.
Bisnow: Like 8500 on Burton, 333 La Cienega is a very high-end luxury project. It is difficult to fathom high demand for apartments that rent for up to $9/SF. Can you tell us about the demographics of tenants you expect to live here based on 8500?
Rick Caruso: We’ve had a waiting list for 8500 since we opened the door. There’s a lot of demand for high-price, luxury apartments because there’s so little of this caliber of product available. People really love the unparalleled amenities and service. We operate 8500 like a five-star hotel. The concierge service does everything for you: grocery shop, full-time car and driver, walk the dog—just about anything desired. We’re providing the same type of service at Masonic Temple, and we do it for our own employees too.
Bisnow: What do you have planned for the 200 acres you acquired in Carlsbad? That’s enough land for a master planned community. Rick Caruso: We bought more than 200 acres on a beautiful lagoon and will dedicate 176 acres to permanent open space, which will have three miles of trails along the waterfront. We’re building an outdoor retail promenade, anchored by Nordstrom, on the other 26 acres.
Bisnow: You’re also building a resort in Montecito. This is a new category of real estate for you. Why did you decide to get into the hospitality business?
Rick Caruso: We’re building the only five-star hotel (Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito) on a beach in Southern California. We plan to break ground in March or April next year and will open in 2018. I’m really excited about this project. We are already very much in the hospitality business. This is just an extension of what we do at our other projects. The hotel’s concierge service will provide services similar to what is provided at Americana on Brand and 8500. We'll offer people unique experiences. This project will reinvent how people use a resort and how a resort operates.
Downtown LA Becomes A Popular Place To Buy A Condo
Los Angeles has been known mostly as a place to work, but the number of residents has more than tripled since 2000. Developers can't build condos fast enough while many offices sit empty.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
You know, for decades, many Americans went downtown to work and then commuted out to the suburbs to live. But all over this country, downtowns are becoming very popular places to lay down roots. In Los Angeles, residents are trading yards and swimming pools for New York-style apartments. From member station KPCC, Ben Bergman takes us to a downtown in transition.
BEN BERGMAN, BYLINE: Jose Gonzalez loves living downtown because on the weekend he can do something that was once unthinkable in LA.
JOSE GONZALEZ: When I park my car on Fridays, I don't move Monday. You know, I walk to all the grocery stores, restaurants.
BERGMAN: During the week, he isn't so lucky. Like many people in the area, he commutes to the coast for his tech job. So in the morning, everyone is crowded onto the freeway, leaving downtown and the city's east side.
GONZALEZ: And it takes me an hour to drive nine miles.
BERGMAN: When Gonzalez first told his parents he was renting a loft downtown, he says they nearly had a heart attack. They knew the area only by its previous reputation as a ghost town after all the office workers went home.
GONZALEZ: Now it's just - it's a complete 180. So when I brought them over, they were just fascinated at all the changes. Before it was just very dark and a lot of crime.
BERGMAN: At the turn of the century, just 27,000 people lived in downtown LA. Soon, the population will be about three times that after a wave of new condos are built, like a luxury complex called Circa that recently broke ground.
SCOTT DOBBINS: Three, two, one.
BERGMAN: The penthouse suite will go for $20,000 a month. The developer leading the project, Scott Dobbins, could have built offices here, but why would he?
DOBBINS: What needs to hit right now is housing units. There's actually been virtually zero commercial built here since the early '90s.
BERGMAN: Because almost a fifth of downtown office space sits empty - one of the highest vacancy rates in the country. Just 2.5 percent of the area's workforce is there. Joe Kotkin teaches urban studies at Chapman University.
JOE KOTKIN: We have less people working downtown than Seattle, which is barely one-sixth the size of LA.
BERGMAN: Kotkin says downtown LA has never been a particularly appealing place to work, and its transition away from offices foreshadowed a nationwide trend.
KOTKIN: Most downtowns in America - the vast majority of their growth is taking place in terms of residential, hotel, entertainment.
BERGMAN: Part of the reason why fewer people want to work downtown is the way we work has changed. There's lots of "Mad Men"-style buildings downtown - very tall, lots of corner offices.
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "MAD MEN")
ELISABETH MOSS: (As Peggy) I have my own office with my name on the door, and I have a secretary.
BERGMAN: Those have very much gone out of style. Companies now want open floor plans and cool campuses, like the one the character Selina Meyer visited on the HBO comedy "Veep."
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "VEEP")
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) This is our black sky ideas room. Google has a blue skies. But Craig doesn't stop at the atmosphere
JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS: (As Selina Meyer) Oh.
BERGMAN: And it's not just tech companies renting creative office space, says Brad McCarthy, an executive at the real estate firm CBRE.
BRAD MCCARTHY: Even law firms and accounting firms and traditional financial services firms, a lot of them now are also going towards some version of that model.
BERGMAN: Which leaves downtown more attractive to residents than businesses. But the shift has brought problems beyond just crowded freeways. After years of decline, violent crime in the area is up 57 percent from last year. Police says a big reason why is all the new people crowding into the area. For NPR News, I'm Ben Bergman in Los Angeles.
LOS ANGELES—Greenland USA has launched sales of its 40-story, 514-unit residential tower II at the $1 billion Metropolis mixed-use development in Downtown Los Angeles. The for-sale condo units will range in price from $500,000 to $2.2 million. This is the Chinese developer’s first USA investment with delivery expected in 2018.
“Metropolis will play a critical role in bridging two of the largest districts in DTLA, the financial district and the sports, entertainment and convention district,” Tami Scully, VP of sales and marketing at Greenland USA, tells GlobeSt.com. “It will serve as the gateway to downtown with its prominent location at the southwest edge of the urban center. Metropolis is redefining what urban living can entail, through a mix of uses and amenities that really doesn’t exist in any other project in the greater Los Angeles area.”
Tower II is one of three residential towers at the development and has a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartment homes. The property will be fully amenitized, and all residents will have access to a four lane outdoor swimming pool and spa, an outdoor kitchen pavilion for events and two gyms. Residents of tower II and III will also have access to a 1.5-acre recreational area on the ninth floor called Met 9, with a dog park and playground for the kids. The property also includes a hotel—with the city’s first Hotel Indigo flag—and retail on the ground floor.
Tower I is already 65% sold, and Scully expects similar success with the sales of Tower II. “We have seen tremendous interest in Metropolis as more and more people want to live in Downtown LA and experience a new level of luxury living,” Scully says. “We’re optimistic that tower two will be well received as well. We have a very supportive broker community who has been driving much of the interest, as have referrals from current buyers, and we will be launching a new marketing campaign to keep the property top of mind among those looking to buy in downtown L.A.”
Metropolis is one of three $1 billion developments currently under construction in Downtown L.A. Oceanwide Plaza, from Chinese developer Oceanwide and Wilshire Grand from Korean Air are also making their ascent to change the L.A. skyline.
-Kelsi Maree Borland
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