JH Snyder sells Hollywood 959 complex for $186M

LPC West and Russell Geyser acquired office building; purchase highlights post-Covid office market, demand from streamers and production firms

Hollywood 959 office complex and Russell Geyser (Photos via First Property; Getty)
Hollywood 959 office complex and Russell Geyser (Photos via First Property; Getty)

Lincoln Property Company and a real estate investment firm led by Russell Geyser paid $186 million for Hollywood 959, the office complex whose tenants include film and production companies — and ill-fated media startup Quibi.

The seller was J.H. Snyder Co., which developed the property at 959 Seward Street in 2015, according to the Los Angeles Times. The deal was J.H. Snyder’s first major property sale since its founder, Jerry Snyder, died in May at 90.

Lincoln Property’s West Coast real estate arm, LPC West, and Geyser Holdings partnered to acquire the five-story building. Rob Kane, LPC West’s executive vice president, told the Times: “We think that post-Covid, low-rise campus environments with great outdoor space are going to be heavily sought after.”

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The sale of the 261,000-square-foot Hollywood 959 — also known as 959 Seward — was a boost for a Los Angeles office market that has languished during the pandemic. About 20 percent of the city’s office space is now available for lease, an eight-year high. The amount of sublease space increased by 50 percent since the start of the pandemic, to 7.1 million square feet.

But while the overall L.A. office market has struggled, streaming services have been gobbling up more space, which has created opportunity. Over the summer, Blackstone Group agreed to buy a 49 percent stake in Hudson Pacific Properties’ $1.65 billion Hollywood real estate portfolio. Hollywood 959 stands across the street from Sunset Las Palmas Studios, one of the properties included in that megadeal.

Hollywood 959’s tenants include Southbay Motion Picture Technologies, along with other entertainment industry firms like Broad Green, Picture Head and Bold Films, the Times reported. In October 2018, Quibi signed a 10-year, 49,000-square-foot lease at the building, with plans to establish its headquarters there the following year. Co-founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg, the short-form subscription video service launched in April to great fanfare — and as Covid was upending the country and altering view habits — and had shut down by October.

Russell Geyser, a managing member of Geyser Holdings, is also founder of Rainmaker Films. The Times reported that his father, Lewis Geyser, partnered on projects with Jerry Snyder, took part in developing Hollywood 959 and remains a senior partner at J.H. Snyder. Russell Geyser said the newly purchased complex had a “historical point of connection for me.” [LAT] — Alexi Friedman