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Real Estate Bisnow
The largest commercial real estate publication in the United States.
May 15, 2012 
Cassidy Turley LTile LA
Tony Natsis' Grand Slam

Last chance! Join us tomorrow Wednesday, May 16 at the Hotel Casa Del Mar for our LA Silicon Beach Real Estate Summit. An uptick in tech companies in what's being dubbed Silicon Beach has helped launch a resurgence in SoCal CRE. Register here.

We chatted with Allen Matkins’ Tony Natsis about the recent home run he just scored for former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt. As even Angels fans know, the controversial sports figure gave up the team and stadium but still owns 260 acres of surface parking surrounding the stadium.
That’s huge. According to Tony, it’s the Western region’s largest tract of undeveloped property in an urban setting. “You can see it from outer space.” (Though, if you're in outer space you should probably look for more interesting things than tracts of undeveloped property.) He and Allen Matkins' Crystal Lofing spent a couple of months researching the property and came up with a set of CC&Rs that govern how McCourt will deliver the parking to the Dodgers and at the same time allows him to develop the parking lots. Meanwhile, stadium parking would go into structures ala Disneyland. “When we go to a Dodger game in 50 years, the whole place will be developed.”
Besides the CC&Rs, Tony also did the $150M sale of the parking lots into a JV with Guggenheim. (McCourt will get a parking fee for renting the lots to the team, though none of the parking revenue from game attendees.) According to Tony, once the actual negotiation got started, it was a one-month process that got boiled down into one brutal 10-day period. Between dealing with attorneys for Guggenheim—the team owner as well as the JV partner—MLB, and the team’s lenders, “I never met that many New York lawyers in my life that I had to negotiate with,” he says. At one point, he went to the closing and there were 45 attorneys. (Of course, some of them may have been there just to get Matt Kemp's autograph.)
Reznick (Office) MLA

Thanks to a growing tech community, Santa Monica and environs are becoming known just as much for keyboards as for surfboards. At Bisnow’s Silicon Beach Summit, slated for tomorrow at the Hotel Casa del Mar in Santa Monica (above), we’ll be hitting the beach—Silicon Beach, that is. (Sunscreen and flip flips optional.)

This morning we spoke with Hudson Pacific Properties president Howard Stern. He tells us the REIT has a lot going on today, having just priced a public offering of 11.5M shares of common stock, which would raise approximately $200M. In addition, the company simultaneously announced the acquisition of two assets that are now in escrow: the 211k SF 901 Market St in San Francisco and the four-building, 233k SF Olympic Bundy Media Campus in West LA, for a total of $179M. The properties fit HPP’s strategy of emphasizing markets with large media, entertainment, and technology tenancies, and the deals “deliver on our objective, which has been to enhance our presence with these high-demand industries.” Howard will have more to celebrate on Thursday, when his daughter graduates from UC Berkeley. He hops on a plane to San Francisco tomorrow, after his turn as a panelist at our Summit.

Last week we chatted with HOK VP/director of interior design Chari Jalali, who recently completed work on the Google campus in Venice while at another firm. She tells us the 100k SF project, combining three buildings involving separate landlords, reflects the tech world’s focus on collaboration. The design team reduced the amount of space designated for individuals and significantly increased the square footage for collaborative areas. The facility also emphasizes “amenities that really make a difference to attracting and keeping the most talented people.” For example, a parking lot was converted into an outdoor gathering area. “We even painted a huge movie screen on the back of one of the buildings.” (What movie did they paint onto it? Hopefully, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.) The campus also offers a rock-climbing wall and a wellness center with fitness and massage rooms. Chari likes to spend her own free time biking and hiking with her husband and seven-year-old son Max, but tomorrow she’ll also be on our panel.

No, this isn’t the latest protest by Occupy LA. It’s the two-story tree house that “serial entrepreneur” Jeff Solomon built for his three-year-olds. Speaking of building things, Jeff tells us that Amplify.LA, of which he’s co-founder and executive director, is a start-up accelerator that provides seed funding (up to $50k), access to additional capital, and mentorship to newly hatched companies. “We essentially kick start their businesses,” in exchange for an 8% stake. Free workspace is provided in Amplify’s 10k SF campus in Venice. One of Amplify’s portfolio companies, TidePool, just raised $1.5M; another raised $800k. (According to Jeff, that’s a company’s first big step in success.) Amplify itself is a start-up, having started in October with backing by some well-known names in the media and entertainment industries. Jeff will join Howard and Chari as a panelist at our Silicon Beach Summit.

Sinking his first hole-in-one at MountainGate earlier this year isn’t the only reason Cresa founding principal Jerry Porter has to smile. The firm had one of its best years in terms of revenue and profitability in 2011, and added a number of seasoned brokers recently. In addition, Jerry reports the firm is busy with corporate work. He and partner Matthew Miller were just hired to find some creative space down in the South Bay by Team One, the ad firm for Lexus, in addition to several assignments for Activision. Jerry says most of the firm’s clients are downsizing and densifying as their leases roll. “What we’re really seeing is an extension of the increased efficiency that businesses have been forced into for the last four years and also the impact of much more mobile workforce.” Spaces are getting smaller, and there’s more hoteling and sharing of space. Jerry will be one of our moderators at Bisnow’s Silicon Beach Summit tomorrow.
What's bigger than The Avengers? Our Silicon Beach Summit. Register here. Email Julie@bisnow.com.
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