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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Straight Outta 90210: Peter Cohen buys former Death Row Records HQ

Suge Knight was once the owner/occupier
By Hannah Miet | October 16, 2017 05:30PM

Suge Knight of Death Row Records and 8200 Wilshire (Credit: Getty Images)

If only these walls could talk.

Freemont Capital Group, an exchange entity attached to Peter Cohen of Cardinal Equities, purchased the former headquarters of Death Row Records in an off-market deal that closed Friday, The Real Deal has learned.

Cohen’s entity paid $17.5 million, or $583 a square foot, for the roughly 30,000-square-foot boutique office building at 8200 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills.

Andrew Levant of Kennedy Wilson represented the seller, an entity dubbed 8200 Wilshire Development. Adam Emrani of Lucent Capital represented the buyer.

The building, which was formerly owned and occupied by ex-and-possibly-future-con Suge Knight’s record label, is now executive suites that cater to small law firms and entertainment companies, Levant said. Tenants in the buildings 24,000 square feet of rentable square feet include Anderson Associates Staffing and WRIT Media Group, according to RCA.

The selling entity acquired the property in March 2006 for roughly $6 million, Levant said. It bought the debt — which Knight reportedly accrued thanks to unpaid taxes and interest — leading to ownership of the real estate, said Levant, who arranged for the acquisition bridge loan, adding that the entity had to “clean up a very messy title” and pay the occupants “cash for keys” to vacate.

The property, which has a giant billboard on its roof, was gutted and redeveloped in 2008 and refinanced in July of 2016, Levant said. Before the renovations, it was “quite the scene,” Levant said.

“Suge had long before commandeered the billboard from Clear Channel to promote [Death Row’s] records and Clear Channel had one of many liens against the property at the time my client became the owner of the real estate,” he said. “The interior walls of the office building were covered in graffiti and there was a gym installed on one of the three floors that was modeled after one you might find in a prison yard. It also had a ‘reptile room’ and, no doubt, a grow room.”

Knight’s former office, in the penthouse of the three-story building, is now a conference room with a roofdeck, he said. A portion of the price in Friday’s deal was allocated to billboard income.

Several of the scenes in “Straight Outta Compton” chronicled Death Row’s occupancy of the building, although it was not shot there.

Knight, who acquired the building for $2.95 million in 2000, filed for bankruptcy and sold Death Row in 2006. He is scheduled for a 2018 trial for the 2015 hit and run that killed Terry Carter.

Cohen’s Cardinal Equities owns and manages, through various real estate holding companies and joint venture partnerships, office and retail properties throughout California and parts of Washington and Nevada, according to Lucent’s website. Its portfolio contains over 1.5 million square feet of real estate, including the company’s headquarters in Beverly Hills.