New Urban West develops creative office near Santa Monica Expo Line

A rendering of the project at 1301 Colorado Avenue
A rendering of the project at 1301 Colorado Avenue

UPDATED, 8:24 a.m., May 4: New Urban West is looking to lease or sell a renovated creative office space at 1301 Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica, The Real Deal has learned.

The 18,000-square-foot office will make its debut on May 20, coinciding with the opening of the Santa Monica Expo train line, the stop for which is within walking distance of the building.

The office space, originally built in the 1960s, is currently listed by Andrew Wilson of Lee & Associates for both sale and leasing. Re-designed by Ehrlich Architects, it features high ceilings, open space and concrete floors.

Santa Monica-based New Urban West purchased the property in early 2015. According to partner Jason Han, it took the firm six months to renovate. It will be ready for occupancy by the end of the year. Prospective tenants or buyers, he told TRD, will likely be in the technology, entertainment or design industries.

With the launch of the Santa Monica Expo Line, which will be an extension of the light-rail that currently runs between Downtown L.A. and Culver City, New Urban West is playing up the appeal of 1301 Colorado’s walkability.

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“For the first time since 1953 when the Santa Monica Pacific Electric Air Line was abandoned, trains will once again link Downtown Los Angeles and many other Eastside communities with the Westside,” Han said.

The office is within a five-minute walking distance of the 17th Street Expo Line station, and a six-minute ride from the beach.

Despite its high rents, Santa Monica has recently seen significant office vacancy.  In the first quarter of 2016, the submarket had 14.4 percent vacancy and 74,403 square feet of negative absorption. In the same period, there was 422,000 square feet of office construction in Santa Monica, including the 200,000-square-foot Pen Factory, an adaptive reuse project.

New Urban’s project will open as part of a showcase featuring a mural exhibition by artists Brian Rea and Clive Piercy on the exterior of the building.

New Urban West does adaptive reuse projects with commercial office space, but it largely develops residential properties.