Real estate engineering firm Arup relocates to Wilshire Grand in $57M lease deal

The firm will occupy 66K sf at the skyscraper

Wilshire Grand, Arup Exec Jim Quiter (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Wilshire Grand, Arup Exec Jim Quiter (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Arup, a real estate engineering firm, is trading the beach access of Playa Vista for the high-rise views at the Wilshire Grand Center.

The firm said Thursday it had signed a lease for 66,000 square feet, spread across three floors, at the Korean Air-owned building in Downtown Los Angeles. At $4 a square foot, its 15-year lease deal is valued at $57 million and reflects one of the biggest corporate lease transactions in 2018.

Arup will be nearly doubling the size of its regional office from a 38,000-square-foot space at 12777 W. Jefferson Boulevard in Playa Vista, the Los Angeles Times reported. It’s also planning to hire about 150 new employees.

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Nathan Pellow and Terence Kirk at Colliers International represented Arup. Steve Marcussen and John Cushman III of Cushman & Wakefield represented the landlord.

The deal comes months after Metrolink, the commuter rail system, announced it had signed a 15-year lease for 30,000 square feet at the 73-story building. Other tenants include commercial brokerage Cushman & Wakefield and the Southern California Association of Governments.

Arup’s move from the Westside could be indicative of a larger trend, where companies are opting to abandon the high rents by the beach for something more affordable and contemporary. For comparison, average asking rents in Downtown are $3.55 per square foot while rates in Santa Monica and Venice can reach above $5.50 per square foot.

In one example, architecture firm Jerde moved its global headquarters to the CalEdison Building after spending nearly three decades in Venice. Meanwhile, Spotify will be leaving West Hollywood for a 115,000-square-foot lease in At Mateo in the Arts District. It’ll be joining Adidas, which recently signed a deal for 31,000 square feet in the Row DTLA. [LAT] – Natalie Hoberman