Outer-space robotics specialist takes 36K sf in Altadena

Pasadena-based firm aims to develop smart rovers in former JPL location

OffWorld lab in Altadena (OffWorld. iStock Illustration, by Shea Monahan for the Real Deal)
OffWorld lab in JPL Building 600, at 540 W. Woodbury Rd (OffWorld, iStock, Illustration by Shea Monahan for the Real Deal)

OffWorld, a space robotics company, has inked a deal to lease a former Jet Propulsion Laboratory building in Altadena.

The Pasadena-based firm signed a lease for the 35,640 square-foot property, formerly known as JPL Building 600, at 540 W. Woodbury Rd., according to CBRE Group. Terms of the lease were not disclosed.

The building’s landlord, La Canada-based Malik Bros., was represented by Kevin Duffy, Natalie Bazarevitsch and Jackie Benavidez of CBRE, alongside Colliers International’s Billy Walk.

“This latest transaction is reflective of the continued growth we are seeing in the Pasadena and Altadena areas by robotics, life science, technology and healthcare companies over the past year,” Duffy said in a statement. “This growth is helping to offset the limited expansion by professional services companies in the area.”

Technology, gaming and the creative sectors led commercial leasing in Los Angeles in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to CBRE research, with companies like Riot Games and Roku signing impactful leases in West LA.

Vacancy and overall sublease availability dropped in the last three months of the year, driven particularly by the creative and tech sectors as they took advantage of opportunities in the market.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

By signing up, you agree to TheRealDeal Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Offworld, a private company founded in 2016, according to Crunchbase, is developing a learning robotic workforce for heavy industrial jobs on Earth, the Moon, asteroids and on Mars. It has affiliate offices in South Africa and Luxembourg.

“We envision millions of smart robots working under human supervision on and offworld, turning the inner solar system into a better, gentler, greener place for life and civilization,” according to its website.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which has vacated the building Offworld leased, can trace its roots to one Jack Parsons, a rocket engineer inspired by space exploration and human spaceflight – as well as science fiction and the occult.

The past year has seen industrial space across Southern California tighten, with only 1.5 percent vacant in the fourth quarter of 2021, down from 3.6 percent during the same period in 2020.

Meanwhile, industrial rents have also risen by 19 percent year-over-year, reaching $1.15 per square foot at the end of 2021, compared to just under $1 in 2020.