January 8, 2015

Douglas Emmett Buys Valley Domination

Douglas Emmett has purchased First Financial, a 222k SF office building in Encino, from Hudson Pacific Properties for $89M.

Hudson CEO Victor Coleman (who we snapped in Hollywood last year) says the firm was looking to let go of what it considers "non-strategic" assets to free up capital. Hudson and Douglas expect to close the deal this quarter, subject to assumption of an existing $43M loan. Hudson's predecessor entity acquired the property upon completion of its IPO in June 2010.

CohnReznick (Field) MLA

DTZ VP of research Arty Majarajh (snapped hiking this weekend in Angeles national forest) tells Bisnow the price is bullish for a Valley asset, but that the area is just not part of HPP's core strategy. He estimates Encino office vacancy at a healthy 12.7%, compared to 14% Valley-wide. For Douglas Emmett, the deal makes perfect sense. The company already virtually owns that part of the Valley, with more than 3.5M SF in the Sherman Oaks-Encino area. Holdings include the Sherman Oaks Galleria and the 387k SF Valley Executive Tower. Arty tells us Douglas Emmett has been on a tear as the economy has recovered, looking to bolster its portfolio throughout LA.

In fact, Douglas Emmett spent about $61M in late 2013 for another large office in Encino. The 186k SF building at 16501 Ventura was picked up from Kennedy Wilson. First Financial in Encino is a six-story, multi-tenant office building with a four-level parking garage located at the corner of Ventura and Balboa boulevards. It's about 95% leased. Hudson says it will use proceeds from the deal as part of a 1031 exchange, potentially including assets from its $3.5B deal with Blackstone last month. 

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Lend Lease (Create-the-Best) LA
Downtown Long Beach (700+) LA
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LA Times HQ Poised for Mixed-Use Revivial

Tribune Media, which owns the paper, announced plans Thursday to redevelop the 80-year-old building. Tribune Real Estate president Murray McQueen says the company is actively seeking development partners to convert the property into a "compelling urban project." Tribune says the iconic property in DTLA at 202 West First St and 213 South Spring St is the perfect spot for a mixed-use project. Hard to disagree. In addition, the company plans to renovate the 21-acre site of a vacant printing plant in Costa Mesa. This comes a month after the Chicago firm announced plans to overhaul Trib Tower, home of the Chicago Tribune.

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Zagat's Most Anticipated LA Restaurants for 2015

To hell with fine dining. Angelenos like fun (and rather calorie-dense) food. So if you look through the most anticipated 2015 restaurant openings from Zagat, you'll find an unhealthy (pun intended) dose of restaurants for your inner glutton. Take Sidecar Doughnuts, which will open in SaMo this spring. Behold: the Bananas Foster, complete with sugar-rum roasted bananas and banana cream. Yeah. There's plenty of other buzz-worthy openings, including Odys + Penelope, from the two that brought you Sycamore Kitchen on La Brea, Ramen Champ (enough said), and Otium, a restaurant from Timothy Hollingsworth, which has to be pretty solid. Dude worked at the illustrious French Laundry. Bon appétit!

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Sharp Capital Continues DTLA Spree

The firm has picked up the 92k SF building at 1200 Wilshire Blvd in DTLA. Principal David Shophet says the company's focus is on tenants, which include Wells Fargo Bank, Modern Parking and Amanecer Community Counseling Services. Bisnow's market sources peg the deal at about $21M, or $232/SF, based on comparable pricing in the area.

Sharp Capital

Sharp also has its attention south of the 101, where it's planning the 67-unit Hōm Temple Apartments, looking to ramp up the underserved market. The 75k SF development is near Filipinotown and next to burgeoning hip communities Silver Lake and Echo Park. All units will have views of the garden areas, the city skyline or the Hollywood Sign.

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CohnReznick (Field) LA
Bisnow (Writers-Stop) HALF
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LA to Buy Da Vinci Site?

LA councilman Tom LaBonge wants the city to look into buying the site of last month's Da Vinci fire, potentially to use as parking, the LA Times reports. The fire destroyed the 526-unit Da Vinci and was later confirmed as arson. The development from Geoff Palmer on West Temple has been less than popular in the city, and the Times says LaBonge believes it is just too close to the freeway to be rebuilt as originally planned. The development was to span an entire city block and total 1.3M SF.

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What do you think is the next hot LA market? Send thoughts to Elliot Golan, elliot.golan@bisnow.com