The Real Deal Los Angeles

Accounting firm BDO USA leaves Century City for Downtown

The company's new City National Plaza location has the same landlord, CommonWealth Partners
July 09, 2018 09:00AM

City National Plaza at 515 S. Flower Street and BDO CEO Wayne Berson

Accounting firm BDO USA is leaving its Century City location for Downtown, having just signed a 15-year lease at CommonWealth Partners Management Services’ City National Plaza.

The Chicago-based firm will occupy 27,300 square feet and take over all of the 47th floor at the 515 S. Flower Street location, according to CoStar. With the move, it leaves another CommonWealth property, at 1888 Century Plaza East, where it occupies 32,000 square feet.

BDO’s move is the latest in a string of professional services firms that are increasingly looking to Downtown as an attractive alternative to the Westside.

Average asking rates at City National Plaza are $3.33 per square foot, or $0.96 lower than average asking rates at 1888 Century Plaza East. The parties did not release exact details of the lease.

The disparity in asking rents could be because of high office vacancy Downtown, compared to a lower vacancy rate on the Westside. Vacancy Downtown in the fourth quarter was the highest among major office submarkets in L.A., standing at 20.6 percent. There is another 1.7 million square feet of office space planned or under construction there, according to a year-end report by Collier’s International.

By comparison, the vacancy rate in West L.A. was 13.6 percent, and had 300,000 square feet less in the pipeline.

BDO joins other accounting firms, including Grant Thornton and RSM USA at City National Plaza, according to CoStar. CommonWealth is also headquartered there. The firm bought the two-tower property, built in 1972, from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System fund for $858 million in 2013, just after the fund bought out partner Thomas Properties Group for $508 million.

Co-working giant Regus signed a 33,000-square-foot lease there in December for its Spaces brand, but CommonWealth lost CBRE Global Investors as a tenant in April. The investment arm of CBRE occupied 40,000 square feet at the property.  [CoStar] — Dennis Lynch