Nuveen buys Arts District studio for $85M

Related-led JV score hefty return on 7th Street Studios parcel

Related Companies' Jeff Blau and Nuveen's Jose Minaya with 2160 East 7th Street
Related Companies' Jeff Blau and Nuveen's Jose Minaya with 2160 East 7th Street (Related Companies, Nuveen, Google Maps, Getty)

It’s “lights, camera, action” time for Nuveen, which just bought a production studio in the Arts District for $85 million, The Real Deal has learned. 

The asset manager bought the 95,000-square-foot studio at 2160 East 7th Street from a joint venture between Related Fund Management and studio operator DGMT, according to a source familiar with the matter. Neither Nuveen nor the sellers immediately responded to a request for comment.

Doug Harmon, Kevin Donner and Ben Lushing brokered the deal while they were at Cushman & Wakefield, though the team has since moved to Newmark.

Related’s fund management arm and DGMT made a hefty return on the property. The duo purchased it for $35 million — $368 a square foot — in October 2020, county records show. The joint venture bought it from Davalan Sales, a produce wholesaler, and redeveloped the building into studios, according to a separate source familiar with the 2020 purchase.

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There’s a long-term lease in place with a nationally known tenant, a source said, but declined to comment on the lease terms. 

At roughly $900 a foot, the deal came out to slightly less than other studios have traded for over the last few years, as streaming services have rushed to produce content to meet consumer demand. A high point came in March of last year – before interest rates soared – when Hines bought a roughly 30,000-square-foot studio in Burbank for $1,500 a foot. 

This push for content has led institutional players, like Blackstone, Related and now Nuveen, to get into the studio game.

By closing this week, the buyer and the sellers narrowly avoided the city’s new transfer taxes on sales over $4 million. If the deal had closed after April 1, Related and DGMT would have had to pay a 5.5 percent tax on the sale, coming out to an extra $4.7 million. 

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