The Real Deal Los Angeles

Payday for Blackstone: Firm closes on sale of 3
pricey LA office deals

Firm sold 1299 Ocean & 429 Santa Monica to Douglas Emmett and QIA; stake in 1999 Avenue of the Stars to JMB
By Hannah Miet | April 26, 2017 08:20PM

From left, Dan Emmett of DEI, Jonathan Gray of Blackstone, Sarah Shaw of JMB and Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani of QIA

Spring cleaning at the Blackstone Group means a massive payday.

The firm just closed on a two-building portfolio to a joint venture between Douglas Emmett Inc. and the Qatar Investment Authority for $352.8 million, CoStar data show. One of the properties, the 205,700-square-foot Wilshire Palisades building at 1299 Ocean Avenue, traded for north of $1,300 per square foot, sources said, breaking the price-per-foot record in Santa Monica that was held by Oracle’s purchase of 2700 Colorado late last year.

The other, an 87,000-square-foot property at 429 Santa Monica Boulevard, sold for about $850 per foot, sources said.

The Real Deal broke the news of the deal in March, when the parties were in advanced talks.

 Blackstone also closed on the sale of its two-thirds stake in the SunAmerica Center at 1999 Avenue of the Stars this week to JMB Realty Corp., sources told TRD.

While the price of the stake in the 825,000-square-foot tower could not immediately be confirmed, sources said it values the whole building at north of $1,000 a square foot, or over $825 million.

Eastdil Secured brokered the deal, sources said, which gives the Chicago-based JMB full control of the Century City office tower it developed nearly three decades ago. In 1999, JMB had sold a two-thirds stake in SunAmerica to Equity Office Properties Trust — which was acquired by Blackstone in a $39 billion leveraged buyout in 2007 —  for approximately $72.4 million in 1999, EOP filings show.

It’s unclear how much JMB paid to acquire the portion that returned its full ownership of the building.

QIA, the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, was DEI’s joint venture partner on a $1.34 billion acquisition of a Westside office portfolio from Blackstone last year.

The acquisitions increase DEI’s share of the Downtown Santa Monica Class A office market to 71 percent from 55 percent, according to the release. The building at 1299 Ocean is 79 percent leased and 429 Santa Monica is 70 percent leased.

Representatives for Blackstone, DEI, JMB and Eastdil could not immediately be reached for comment.