TrueCar exits HQ lease at Mani Brothers’ building in Santa Monica, alleging “construction failures”

Firm alleges renovation led to unusable office space

TrueCar Exits Santa Monica HQ Amid Spat With Landlord Mani Brothers
TrueCar CEO Jantoon Reigersman, Mani Brothers founder Simon Mani and 1401 Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica (TrueCar, Getty, Mani Brothers)

TrueCar, an online car marketplace and listing site, has terminated its lease for its corporate headquarters at a Mani Brothers-owned building in Santa Monica, alleging that the space became “unsuitable for use,” because of a series of construction failures after a renovation project at the building. 

The publicly traded firm vacated the building at 1401 Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica in April, according to an annual filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 

The same month, TrueCar sued a limited liability company controlled by Mani Brothers, claiming the landlord failed to repair a number of structural issues that forced TrueCar to exit the lease, according to a complaint filed with Los Angeles Superior Court. 

TrueCar occupied about 17,000 square feet at the building, according to the complaint, under a lease signed in 2014 and set to expire in January 2030. Neither TrueCar nor Mani Brothers responded to a request for comment. 

At the Ocean Avenue building, TrueCar agreed to pay about $1.2 million in annual rent, according to a copy of the lease filed with the court. In total, TrueCar has spent $22 million on rent for the offices, the company said in its complaint. 

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In July 2023, Mani Brothers started a construction project to renovate the third floor, according to the complaint, right above TrueCar’s offices. 

Since then, every time it has rained, “water has literally gushed into TrueCar’s offices and conference rooms,” TrueCar said in its complaint. The office has become “a wasteland of fans, buckets and other receptacles set out by maintenance personnel to catch the water leaking into the space,” the firm added.

The lawsuit was filed to ask the court to declare the lease termination was justified, given the offices are unusable. 

According to TrueCar’s website, the firm’s headquarters is now listed as 225 Santa Monica Boulevard, also known as the Clock Tower, which is owned by Rockwood Capital.

TrueCar also has a presence at 3415 South Sepulveda Boulevard in West Los Angeles, where its signage fronts the 405 Freeway. The company was started in 2005 by serial L.A. automotive entrepreneur Scott Painter, who also started CarsDirect.com. Jantoon Reigersman, the company’s former chief financial officer, serves as CEO.