Brookfield taps Apollo for $212M refi of DreamWorks HQ

Toronto-based REIT capitalizes on November purchase of 500,000 sf Glendale property for $327M

1000 Flower Street, Glendale (Google Maps)
1000 Flower Street, Glendale (Google Maps)

Brookfield has struck a $212.2-million deal with Apollo to refinance the DreamWorks Animation Studios campus in Glendale it bought last fall.

The Toronto-based real estate investment trust refinanced its property in an unbrokered loan from Apollo Global Management of New York, the Commercial Observer reported.

Brookfield REIT, a unit of Brookfield Asset Management, bought the seven building DreamWorks headquarters, birthplace of “Shrek,” “Kung Fu Panda” and other cartoon characters, in November for $327 million. 

Hana and Ocean West bought the 497,403 square-foot property from Griffin Capital for $297 million in 2017, records show.

Brookfield officials declined to comment to the Commercial Observer about its seven-year loan from Apollo.

DreamWorks has occupied the property at 1000 Flower Street since it was built in 1997, when it served as headquarters for DreamWorks SKG — an animation empire that would go on to make hits such as “Shrek,” “Madagascar” and “How to Train Your Dragon.”

The animation studio, which was acquired by Comcast in 2016, holds a lease on the property through 2035.

The 14.7-acre property includes production and motion-capture studios, green rooms, a theater and office space. It houses 1,200 employees, including 3D animators and engineers, with access to a helipad, ping-pong tables and a medical clinic.

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The DreamWorks campus is also close to Glendale’s Media Triangle, home to other production studios and campuses, including many owned by the Walt Disney Co.

Christine Boyd, a principal at Apollo Global Management based in San Francisco, led negotiations in the seven-year refinancing deal. She said Apollo was drawn to the Brookfield sponsorship, and because the REIT is a repeat client.

“We love working with borrowers that we repeatedly do business with, and Brookfield’s experience and balance sheet is key,” Boyd said.

The real estate part of the transaction fits into its belief in the strength of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, and “the right direction” of the city’s office market.

Boyd described the DreamWorks campus’ location as “irreplaceable” – with studios in a unique campus setting with outdoor space and other amenities important in a post-pandemic world. She also sees far more in-person human activity in the West Coast markets she covers today.

“With the mask mandates going away, it’s interesting to see more people downtown in San Francisco and L.A.” she said. “I think that’s going to translate to more office usage over the coming months here.”

[Commercial Observer] – Dana Bartholomew

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