Finding its sweet spot: Sweetgreen moving HQ to West Adams

The Luzzatto Company is redeveloping the former Unified Grocers' dairy products building, slated to open in 2020
By Natalie Hoberman | May 23, 2019 01:00PM

From left: Sweetgreen co-founders Jonathan Neman, Nicolas Jammet and Nathaniel Ru; and a rendering of 3101 Exposition Boulevard

From left: Sweetgreen co-founders Jonathan Neman, Nicolas Jammet and Nathaniel Ru; and a rendering of 3101 Exposition Boulevard

UPDATED, May 24, 12:28 p.m.: An industrial building in West Adams once used to produce dairy products is going green. Sweetgreen.

The popular salad chain will relocate its headquarters from Culver City to a former dairy plant that the Luzzatto Company is redeveloping, The Real Deal has learned.

With the new lease, Sweetgreen will occupy the entire 50,000-square-foot space at 3101 Exposition Boulevard. The fast casual restaurant chain is now based in Runyon Group’s Platform complex in Culver City since 2016, when it left its New York location.

A representative for Sweetgreen confirmed the lease. Rick Buckley at LA Realty Partners brokered the off-market deal. He declined to comment.

Luzzatto, a Fairfax-based investment and development firm, is transforming the building, once the home of Unified Grocers’ dairy products division. The project is expected to be completed by Spring 2020, at which point Sweetgreen will move in.

Luzzatto is in the process of buying the dairy building site from the Olson Company, a multifamily developer that specializes in affordable housing. In November 2017, Olson filed plans to develop 68 townhouse-style condos at the 1.5-acre site.

Olson is still going to build the townhomes on the parcels it holds, though the number of units may be slightly reduced to account for the dairy building sale, Luzzatto principal Asher Luzzatto said.

In its new location, Sweetgreen will work with SEE-LA, a nonprofit operator of farmers’ markets, to bring healthier food options to the region.

Sweetgreen has more than 90 locations across the country. In October, news circulated that the company was close to securing a $200 million investment that would value it above $1 billion. Sweetgreen confirmed the investment in November.

West Adams, a designated federal Opportunity Zone, is becoming a popular spot for office conversions, thanks in part to Luzzatto’s efforts in the area. The firm is building the “Expo Station” office building at 12414 Exposition Boulevard. The University of Southern California’s cancer research center will occupy the 80,000-square-foot building for a few years before purchasing it. Luzzatto is also working on another conversion project, designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture, at 3339 Exposition Place.

CorrectionA previous version of this story incorrectly stated Olson Company intends to sell the entire site to Luzzatto Company.