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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Larry Ellison and USC’s cancer institute to open Sawtelle spec office

Namesake institute of Oracle founder plans to buy Luzzatto Co.'s Expo Station project
July 16, 2018 11:00AM

Expo Station at 12414 Exposition Boulevard

Luzzatto Company, a developer, has found a buyer for a nearly 80,000-square-foot creative office it is building on spec in Sawtelle.

The University of Southern California said last week that the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine will occupy the under-construction “Expo Station” development at 12414 Exposition Boulevard, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The institute is named after its financial backer, Oracle Corporation co-founder Larry Ellison.
The cancer research center will occupy the building for two to five years, then plans to buy the property from Luzzatto. It’s unclear if the parties have agreed on a sale price, but the Ellison Institute has $200 million in its coffers.

It’s unlikely the school could have nabbed a high-tech creative office in a competitive market like Sawtelle without Ellison’s financial backing. The Expo Station site would be particularly competitive because it’s just a few blocks away from the Metro Expo Line’s Expo/Bundy station, which runs from Santa Monica to Downtown.

Luzzatto, based in Santa Monica, didn’t intend to sell the three-story office when it purchased the 47,000-square-foot site in 2016, but the Ellison Institute wouldn’t move in with just a lease. The company paid $16.7 million for the site and expects to spend around $100 million building the sleek office, which is expected to open early next year.

The Expo Line opened in 2012 and is driving tech-related development near its stations, like Seritage Growth Properties’ creative office conversion of a historic Sears location in Santa Monica,  the Martin family’s Martin Expo Town Center project, and Hudson Pacific Properties’ creative office conversion of much of the Westside Pavilion shopping mall. The latter two are near the Ellison Institute’s new home.

The purchase gives USC’s Keck School of Medicine an outpost in a medical office market dominated by the University of California Los Angeles and Cedars-Sinai, according to the Times. [LAT] – Dennis Lynch