In rough year for office, LA manages to generate a few mega-leases

Onni Group’s deal with Sony Pictures tops the list of biggest transactions in 2023

In Rough Year for Office, LA Generates a Few Mega-Leases
(back) 5750 Wilshire Boulevard, 1950 Avenue of the Stars and 1800 Avenue of the Stars; (front) Sony Pictures’ Tony Vinciquerra, Clearlake Capital Group’s José E. Feliciano, Anderson Holdings’ Patrick Haden and Ares Managements’ Michael Aroughetti (Loopnet, Getty, VTS, Johnson Fain, Anderson Holdings, Ares Management, Linkedin)

Tenants drastically cut back on leases for huge swaths of office space in Los Angeles this year, although a few bit the bullet and signed huge deals in 2023. 

And the largest were signed at office buildings in Century City, which took the cake for the best performing office market across L.A. County, with the highest asking rents and the lowest vacancy. 

No office lease in Downtown Los Angeles — an office market plagued by defaults and distress — ranked among the five largest leases to close this year.

Here are the Los Angeles market’s largest office leases for 2023, based on data from brokerages Newmark and CBRE. TRD only counted direct leases, pre-lease deals and subleases into consideration, not extensions or small expansions. 

1. Sony Pictures | Onni Group’s Wilshire Courtyard | 225,000 sf 

5750 Wilshire Blvd (Loopnet)

Sony Pictures caused an adrenaline rush for L.A.’s office market in January, when it kicked off the year signing a 225,000-square-foot deal at Onni Group’s Wilshire Courtyard complex on the Miracle Mile. Cushman & Wakefield and Savills brokered the deal on behalf of the landlord and the tenant, respectively. 

The deal also helped Onni Group score a three-year extension on a $384 million loan tied to the 1 million-square-foot building, located at 5750 Wilshire Boulevard.

In 2022, the building was 46 percent vacant and was barely reeling in enough income to service its monthly debt payments.

2. Ares Management | Anderson Real Estate’s | 206,000 sf

1800 Avenue of the Stars (Loopnet)

Ares Management played musical chairs at the beginning of the year and decided to relocate from one Century City building to a newer one next door. 

The financial firm signed a 12-year lease to take 206,000 square feet at Anderson Real Estate’s 1800 Avenue of the Stars. Savills and CBRE represented the tenant and landlord, respectively. 

Previously, the firm leased space at 2000 Avenue of the Stars. Ares is set to move into the space in June 2024, once Anderson completes a $100 million renovation of the two-building complex. 

“It’s easy to be negative about office,” Anderson Holdings CEO William Anderson told Bloomberg in January. “But this is a perfect example that if you’ve got the right location and make the right upgrades, you can be a success.”

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3. Clearlake Capital | JMB Realty’s 1950 Avenue of the Stars | 151,000 sf

1950 Avenue of the Stars (Johnson Fain)

In August, private equity firm Clearlake Capital Group decided it wanted to move into a Century City building that isn’t even finished yet. 

The firm pre-leased 151,000 square feet at JMB Realty’s 1950 Avenue of the Stars, with move-in slated for 2026 when the 37-story building is finished. CBRE and Cushman & Wakefield represented the tenant and landlord, respectively. 

Clearlake, which signed a lease for at least 15 years, will occupy the top eight floors of the building when it opens, according to a source familiar with the matter. Creative Artists Agency is expected to take up almost all of the rest of the building under its own pre-lease deal. 

4. Penske Media | Northwood Investors’ Lumen West LA | 124,500 sf

11175 Santa Monica Blvd (Loopnet)

Penske Media, which has its logo on 11175 Santa Monica Boulevard, signed a deal in September to relocate its offices to Northwood Investors’ Lumen West Los Angeles, about a mile away. 

Penske, the owner of Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, leased 124,500 square feet at the property, located at 11355 West Olympic Boulevard. 

Northwood Investors owns the 550,000-square-foot building along with McCarthy Cook. The firms started a $300 million redevelopment of the site in 2020 and finished it last year. 

5. Skims | J.H. Snyder’s 1601 Vine Street | 116,000 sf

1601 Vine Street (Loopnet)

When WeWork left 1601 Vine Street in Hollywood last year, J.H. Snyder was left with an empty building. Until Kim Kardashian came in. 

Kardashian’s clothing and lingerie line Skims leased 116,000 square feet at the building in June, taking up all of the office space at the property. City National Bank occupies the ground-floor retail at the building.

After Skims signed its lease, City National Bank agreed to extend a loan on the property through May 2024. 

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