The Real Deal Los Angeles

CBREI buys Univision building for $102M

Univision sold Westchester property, leased back 105K sf
By Hannah Miet | April 19, 2016 01:42PM

5999 Center Drive West

The property at 5999 Center Drive West in Westchester


Spanish language broadcaster Univision has sold the Westchester office building at Howard Hughes Center that houses its television group for $102 million, The Real Deal has exclusively learned.

The buyer, CBRE Global Investors, shelled out $586 a square foot for the 174,084-square-foot building at 5999 Center Drive West, according to CoStar.

The sale closed April 1, the same day Univision signed a lease-back agreement with CBREI that ensures it will remain at the building until 2026. The lease, for roughly 105,000 square feet of space, brought the property to 60 percent leased.

Univision, which used to inhabit the entire building, had more space than it needed, and decided to “right-size” said Gardner Ellner, director of acquisitions for the Western U.S. at CBREI. There is now roughly 67,000 square feet of available space on two vacant floors that is likely to be leased to a tenant who is also in the media or technology business, Ellner said.

The property’s proximity to the tech hub of Playa Vista was attractive to CBREI. The firm is betting that Westchester will catch some overflow.

“Playa Vista is mostly built out,” Ellner said. “We like the opportunity here because we see this as a gateway…getting off the freeway, you go through this area to get to Playa Vista.”

The building, constructed in 2000 specifically for Univision’s needs, is already in good condition, Ellner said. CBREI plans to update the lobby, common areas and outdoor space. Renovations are slated to begin this summer.

Westchester hasn’t historically been a particularly sparkly submarket but it has seen some recent investment from those who think it could house tech workers. Mill Creek Residential Trust has planned a 375-unit apartment complex on three-acres of land at 5901 and 6055 Center Drive, while Equity Residential’s  Altitude at Howard Hughes Center, which contains 545 residential units, nears completion. On the retail front, Laurus Corporation is giving the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center a $30 million makeover.

Univision acquired its television building from Arden Realty Inc. for $52.5 million in 2004.

Ryan Gallagher and Andrew Harper of HFF were the listing agents in its sale to CBREI.