In March, Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke paid $150 million for the Promenade, a zombie mall in Woodland Hills. Now he’s bought a 13-story office building next door for $175 million.
The purchase of the 450,000-square-foot Anthem Blue Cross building at 21555 Oxnard St. puts the Rams owner and real estate mogul in a position to build a second sports-oriented project like that around SoFi Stadium, the Los Angeles Times reported. His combined properties span 65 acres.
Kroenke’s two Warner Center properties are expected to be redeveloped into a sprawling mixed-use village of shops, restaurants, hotels and homes, with a training center for the Super Bowl-winning football team.
The company didn’t disclose how much Kroenke paid for the Anthem building and the 32-acre site. But real estate sources close to the deal told the Times he paid $175 million for the 45-year-old tower last occupied by health insurer Anthem, just east of the Promenade.
The building owner in July 2020 was TA/Warner Center Investors, an ownership group that includes managing partners Abraham Lerner and Christopher Ellis, and limited partners Manfred Simchowitz and Apollo Real Estate Investment Fund. Early last year, they proposed revamping the Anthem property with a new hotel and restaurants.
In all, Kroenke has sunk about $325 million into the west San Fernando Valley properties.
Los Angeles has pushed to turn a sleepy Warner Center into a bustling urban environment where people live, work, shop and play.
A neighborhood Specific Plan adopted in 2013 promotes new housing, shops and restaurants, laying out a welcome mat for builders.
Recent zoning now allows for up to 30 million square feet of commercial space, while removing building height caps in most of the 1.5-square-mile district bounded by the 101 Freeway, Vanowen Street, DeSoto Avenue and Topanga Canyon Boulevard.
Large-scale, mixed-use developments are expected to deliver more than 10,000 new apartments and condominiums.
Although the Kroenke Group has not revealed development plans in Woodland Hills, the company is widely expected to build a smaller version of its 300-acre SoFi sports campus in Inglewood.
The Woodland Hills Rams’ facility is expected to host a team headquarters, practice facility and fields, along with commercial development unrelated to football.
The latest buy brings Kroenke’s holdings in Woodland Hills to about 65 acres, making the combined parcels one of the biggest development sites in the area, said John M. Walker, president of the Woodland Hills Homeowners Organization. “It’s huge.”
His homeowners group supports improvements in Warner Center, but have joined a neighborhood chorus pressing for any development plans to address noise and traffic from a sports complex, street widening and an expanded 101 Freeway offramp.
Kroenke’s properties sit next to the Warner Center Towers office complex, the Westfield Topanga mall and Village shopping center, and Warner Center Marriott Woodland Hills.
Planned additions to the neighborhood include a proposed $1-billion complex on Warner Center Lane with offices, stores, restaurants, residences and a hotel that would replace a 1980s-era office park across from Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills. A hotel is also planned at the former Fry’s Electronics store across from the Anthem site.
[Los Angeles Times] – Dana Bartholomew