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Equity Office Daily Brief: November 30, 2017

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Daily Brief

November 30, 2017

  EquilityOffice

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Proofpoint to Acquire Secure Browser Developer Weblife for $66 Million

Los Angeles Business Journal

 

Proofpoint announced Wednesday plans to acquire anonymous web browser developer Weblife for $66 million. Hollywood-based Weblife’s internet browsing software uses a proxy to keep user’s online activity anonymous. And, the software has anti-virus features which filter out malicious content from a user’s...

 


Enjoius Gets $1.4M For Online Party Planning Site

socaltech

 

Los Angeles-based Enjoius, an online party planning website, has raised $1.4M in a seed funding round. The funding came from angels, including Nancy Tellem (Executive Chairman, Eko Studios and former President of CBS Network Television Group), Daniel Murray (CFO Dollar Shave Club),...

 


Two big Uber investors agree to sell shares in SoftBank deal

Los Angeles Times

 

At least two big Uber stakeholders have agreed to sell part of their private shares to a group led by Japanese technology conglomerate SoftBank in a deal that would let investors cash out and could bring management stability to the troubled...

 


Development Boom Arrives In Compton

GlobeSt

 

Los Angeles’ development boom has hit Compton. Westport Properties has acquired a land site in the market to develop a self-storage facility. In addition to the development of the self-storage facility, the developer is also making a significant investment in the...

 



BLOG & ONLINE NEWS

 

Los Angeles Falls Short On Office Development

GlobeSt

 

Los Angeles is not one of the top metros for office development in the coming year, according to a new office development report from Yardi’s Commercial Café. In 2018, the city expects to deliver 1.7 million square feet of competitive office space,...

 


Burbank Office Asset Goes for $400/sf

RENTV

 

A 9.4k sf office building in Burbank has traded for $3.75 mil, nearly $400/sf. The building, at 1918 W. Magnolia Blvd, was purchased by Burbank City Federal Credit Union, which is expanding from an adjacent location.  The two-story property was constructed as...

 


Site Cleared for Mixed-Use Complex at North Hollywood Station

urbanize.LA

 

A former car rental business adjacent to Metro's North Hollywood Station has been cleared away, and preparations are now beginning for the construction of a mixed-use development on the property. The project, which comes from the Richman Group, would rise upon an approximately .82-acre site...

 


Tech Is 'The Job Growth Engine'

GlobeSt

 

NEW YORK CITY—The third quarter saw the US office sector continue its run of strong performance, with rents either holding steady or rising in the sector’s 10 leading markets, according to Colliers International’s latest report. Yet while the traditional industries contributed...

 


Developers Tend Toward Trendy Retailers To Bring In Customers, Other Tenants

BISNOW

 

With its green moss archway and hip décor, GiorgiPorgi in downtown Los Angeles has become one of the many trendy must-visit coffee shops in the area. A year after opening next to Little Tokyo, the small coffee shop on Third Street has...

 

FULL TEXT


Proofpoint to Acquire Secure Browser Developer Weblife for $66 Million

Los Angeles Business Journal

 

Proofpoint announced Wednesday plans to acquire anonymous web browser developer Weblife for $66 million.

Hollywood-based Weblife’s internet browsing software uses a proxy to keep user’s online activity anonymous. And, the software has anti-virus features which filter out malicious content from a user’s view.

Weblife claims its software also reduces the risk of litigation and e- discovery by limiting unnecessary data collection, and limits risk of privacy non-compliance by isolating personal web use.

Proofpoint of Sunnyvale develops an encrypted and secure email service for corporations. The company intends to use Weblife’s browser to help clients stop malware attacks coming from employees’ personal email accounts.

“Organizations are having to confront the reality that employees will check their personal email from the corporate network, and will also use their corporate devices to check their email at home after work, on the road, and everywhere in between,” David Melnick, chief executive of Weblife.io, said in a statement. “By combining Proofpoint’s advanced threat detection capabilities with our unique browser isolation solution, enterprises can now secure both corporate and personal email from advanced threats and compliance risks.”

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017, the companies said in a press release.

-Garret Reim 

Enjoius Gets $1.4M For Online Party Planning Site

socaltech

 

Los Angeles-based Enjoius, an online party planning website, has raised $1.4M in a seed funding round. The funding came from angels, including Nancy Tellem (Executive Chairman, Eko Studios and former President of CBS Network Television Group), Daniel Murray (CFO Dollar Shave Club), Angela Mathes (Entrepreneur & former President, ABC Daytime TV) and Kent Wakeford (COO & Board Member KSV esports). Enjoius offers up an online site where users can browse photos and party plans, get expert advice, shop for party supplies, and connect with event professionals. Enjoius said the new funding goes towards product development and marketing. The startup is led by CEO and founder Christopher Cunningham.

-socaltech

Two big Uber investors agree to sell shares in SoftBank deal

Los Angeles Times

 

At least two big Uber stakeholders have agreed to sell part of their private shares to a group led by Japanese technology conglomerate SoftBank in a deal that would let investors cash out and could bring management stability to the troubled ride-hailing company.

SoftBank said in a statement Wednesday that Benchmark Capital, Menlo Ventures and other early investors have confirmed intent to sell shares in the company. SoftBank's offer was expected to be based on a reduced valuation of Uber. The company had been valued at $68.5 billion in a previous stock sale.

The group led by SoftBank and Dragoneer Investment Group wants to buy at least 13.4% of Uber shares.

Under an investment deal, the SoftBank group also is buying about $1 billion worth of new Uber stock, injecting cash into the money-losing company. 

Interest by Benchmark and Menlo Ventures is a sign that the deal is moving forward. Investors have 20 days to decide whether to take the offers.

The deal reduces the influence of ousted Chief Executive Travis Kalanick and clears the way for Uber, which is among the most valuable tech firms in the world, to sell stock to the public. Under the deal, the initial public offering would take place before the end of 2019.

Kalanick, who controls three of 11 seats on the Uber board, agreed to allow a majority of board members to vote on any future appointments he makes. He was replaced in August by former Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who has promised ethical behavior in the future but has had to deal with additional scandals that originated before he started.

Uber's growing string of scandals almost certainly played a role in the discounted valuation. The most recent problem was made public Tuesday in a federal courtroom in San Francisco. Federal prosecutors are investigating allegations that Uber deployed an espionage team to plunder trade secrets from its rivals. The revelation triggered a delay in a high-profile trial over whether Uber stole self-driving car technology from a Google spinoff.

Over the last year, Uber has been rocked by revelations of rampant sexual harassment inside the company, technological trickery designed to thwart regulators and a yearlong coverup of a hacking attack that stole the personal information of 57 million passengers and 600,000 drivers.

The offers come as Uber's third-quarter adjusted loss rose to $743 million — 14% higher than in the second quarter — as the San Francisco company continued to struggle toward profitability, the Financial Times reported. Net revenue rose to $2 billion, also up 14%.

SoftBank's statement said that any sales by Benchmark or Menlo will be “pursuant to the same terms and conditions as will be offered to all other eligible holders that participate in the tender offer.”

Messages were left Wednesday seeking comment from Uber, Benchmark and Menlo Ventures. Benchmark, a major Silicon Valley venture capital firm, has fought with Kalanick over governance of the company.

-Associated Press 

Development Boom Arrives In Compton

GlobeSt

 

Los Angeles’ development boom has hit Compton. Westport Properties has acquired a land site in the market to develop a self-storage facility. In addition to the development of the self-storage facility, the developer is also making a significant investment in the community by building a pocket park and an adjacent sports field for little league. Construction on the 1,390-unit self-storage facility will being next year, and the property will deliver in 2019.

“There is a lot of different product types that are able and willing to pay high prices for properties. It was very difficult to find a site that worked for us,” Charles Byerly, president and CEO of Westport Properties, tells GlobeSt.com. “There is a lot of competition in Compton, as well as the surrounding markets. This market is becoming very difficult to get into.”

With the competition in the market, the infrastructure investment helped to gain community support for the development. The investment includes Parmalee Pocket Park with new landscaping, pedestrian pathways and seating and a donation to the Compton Little League team. “We like to get involved in the community. It is a good partnership, and it helped alleviate some concerns about what self-storage facilities bring to a community,” says Byerly. Historically some of those have been negative, and we like to bring a positive up-front spin. We want people to know that we are there as part of the community. In this case, we asked what we could do to help out the community, and these were the things that the city suggested that would bring community awareness and pride to the immediate area. We were happy to do that.”

Westport’s interest in the Compton submarket is fueled by population growth. This is its first developer’s first project in the market. “We look at where there is population, and the population in Compton is growing and has been growing. Compton is a supply-constrained market, and we thought this was a good long-term opportunity to go into a market that has some good deferred buildings,” says Byerly. This was an opportunity to put a state-of-the-art, brand new structure there that the community can use. We thought this was a good opportunity for both the city and for us, and I think they felt that way.”

While the infrastructure investment helped garner community support, Westport was able to win the land site from competing investors simply by paying the highest price. “It comes down to price and terms,” adds Byerly. “We were willing to push the needle on this site, and we were willing to provide the seller with some certainties to get it done.”

Although this project hasn’t broken ground yet, Westport is open to other opportunities in the Compton area. “We would entertain other opportunities for sure,” says Byerly. “It is a difficult market to penetrate, but we are continuing to look for opportunities in this market and surrounding markets.”

-Kelsi Maree Borland

Los Angeles Falls Short On Office Development

GlobeSt

 

Los Angeles is not one of the top metros for office development in the coming year, according to a new office development report from Yardi’s Commercial Café. In 2018, the city expects to deliver 1.7 million square feet of competitive office space, ringing in at number 10 on the list of the top office development markets. New York, San Francisco and Washington DC top the list. The thin office development pipeline shows that L.A.’s economy is at a point of minimal growth and while several office sectors are growing, it isn’t enough to expand the office development pipeline. To find out more, we sat down with Doug Ressler, senior research office at Yardi, for an interview to discuss L.A.’s office development pipeline and his expectations for the next year.

GlobeSt.com: Is it surprising that L.A. is not one of the top cities for office development in the US? Doug Ressler: In one word No. With the unemployment rate at 4.4 percent, we believe the Los Angeles economy is at a point of minimal growth. The entertainment industry and content generators continue to provide robust employment. Mature professional service sectors are likely to add additional headcount but will not significantly expand the office market, and will choose to increase space density.

GlobeSt.com: Does the current demand support more Los Angeles office development? Ressler: Rents are rising and landlords are cutting back on concession packages on the Westside. However, Downtown ownership groups are supplementing their deals with more generous terms and conditions but maintaining face rents. The Los Angeles market has experienced positive net absorption, and vacancy has decreased only slightly due to the new deliveries in 2017.

GlobeSt.com: Do you expect office development to pick up in 2018 in Los Angeles? What is your outlook for office development in L.A.? Ressler: We do not foresee office development increasing in 2018. In 2017 4.4 million square feet, a total of 23 properties that are 90% competitive, were completed. In 2018, completions are projected to be 2.7 million square feet, or a total of 12 properties that are 86%+ competitive, will be completed. That is a decrease of 40% in development activity from 2017.

GlobeSt.com: How does new development compare to redevelopment office projects in Los Angeles? Ressler: Downtown trophy owners continue to reinvent and re-energize their assets through ambitious lobby and plaza renovations such as City National Plaza, which is developing a multi-million-dollar improvement project.

-Kelsi Maree Borland

Burbank Office Asset Goes for $400/sf

RENTV

 

A 9.4k sf office building in Burbank has traded for $3.75 mil, nearly $400/sf. The building, at 1918 W. Magnolia Blvd, was purchased by Burbank City Federal Credit Union, which is expanding from an adjacent location. 

The two-story property was constructed as a multi-tenant building, and was fully leased at the time of the sale to six tenants on short-term leases. It is located west of I-5 and north of the 134 Fwy. 

Scott Romick and Stephen Geiger of Lee & Associates-LA North/Ventura represented the seller, PHSF Realty LLC. The buyer was repped by Kyle Barratt and Gerard Poutier of CBRE. 

“The configuration, along with the strength of the rental market in Burbank, attracted a number of investors as well as owner-users,” noted Geiger. The median sale price for office buildings in the San Fernando Valley as of the third quarter was $271 per square foot, up from $211 per square foot in the year-ago period. 

-RENTV

Site Cleared for Mixed-Use Complex at North Hollywood Station

urbanize.LA

 

A former car rental business adjacent to Metro's North Hollywood Station has been cleared away, and preparations are now beginning for the construction of a mixed-use development on the property.

The project, which comes from the Richman Group, would rise upon an approximately .82-acre site at the northwest corner of Lankershim and Chandler Boulevards.  Plans call for a seven-story building, featuring 127 apartments and approximately 13,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.

DesignARC is designing the mid-rise edifice, which will be clad with a mix of concrete, metal, plaster and custom mural panels.

City records have previously forecast a groundbreaking date in early 2018, and completion in late 2019.

The project will serve as an appetizer for an even more ambitious development planned across the street, where Trammell Crow Company is partnering with Metro to construct a 15-acre complex featuring upwards of 1,500 housing units, 450,000 square feet of offices and 150,000 square feet of retail in a mix of high-rise and mid-rise buildings.

-Steven Sharp

Tech Is 'The Job Growth Engine'

GlobeSt

 

NEW YORK CITY—The third quarter saw the US office sector continue its run of strong performance, with rents either holding steady or rising in the sector’s 10 leading markets, according to Colliers International’s latest report. Yet while the traditional industries contributed to that success story, the real trendsetters lately have been comparative newcomers.

In early October, Dropbox signed the largest office lease San Francisco has ever seen: 736,000 square feet, representing the entirety of Kilroy Realty’s Exchange on 16th development. And Colliers notes that creative office space providers, including WeWork, are increasing their presence in several markets, notably Boston. To get a handle on the brave new world of office leasing, GlobeSt.com spoke recently with Michael Cohen, president of the New York tri-state region at Colliers. An edited version of that conversation appears below.

GlobeSt.com: The third quarter was marked by major leasing deals in many markets from tech firms as well as coworking firms. And we also saw a push in a number of markets to attract Amazon for its HQ2. Can we chalk all of this up as simply more evidence of how important tech has become to the office sector?

Michael Cohen: I don’t think it’s possible to overestimate the impact that the tech sector has had on many CBDs. It’s not equally important in, say, Nashville as it is in Boston, New York or San Francisco; the impact differs depending on where you are. But for many cities, tech has been the job growth engine of the past five years.

The traditional industries—the FIRE sectors—have gone through a period of shrinkage and consolidation that plateaued about a year ago, and they still represent a large portion of the jobs. In some markets like New York City, it’s a majority. But they’re not the growth engine. They’re not the reason that new construction has taken off in New York for the first time since the mid 1980s. And while it’s not all being leased by the tech sector, tech is still the engine of growth.

GlobeSt.com: The current story of another traditional office-using sector, the legal profession, is that it’s consolidating its footprint as firms use space more efficiently. Is that story being oversold?

Cohen: A sizable minority of firms are taking less space pursuant to their new leases. So to call it a trend is accurate. It’s not 50% or more, but it’s enough that these statistics are meaningful. And what the legal industry is doing is adopting smaller, more uniform standards to drive down the measurement of square feet per attorney. That’s the benchmark the industry uses to say, “How am I doing? How efficient am I?”

That being said, the legal industry is a laggard by other measures. Many industries migrated out of private offices a decade or more ago, putting people in open spaces. Law firms are still a “superstar” culture, where retention is aided and abetted by the ability to provide a private, windowed accommodation to your heavy hitters. So if you compare law firms to other industries, they are still much less densely populated users of space.

GlobeSt.com: Yet law firms are making a long-term change in their view of how they use office space, after maintaining a more traditional view for decades before this.

Cohen: There’s no question. But I would say that across the board, every industry has been doing the same thing, with rare exceptions. The move to open officing, cubes, benching in some industries is common to all sectors as part of the drive toward reduced footprint and greater efficiency. It’s the rising tide.

GlobeSt.com: The latest report notes that in Boston and some other markets, there has definitely been an increase in the amount of space that WeWork and similar tenants have been taking. Is that being driven in part by larger tenants rethinking their space requirements, in the sense that they can add the coworking space on an as-needed basis?

Cohen: I wouldn’t characterize it as a rethinking. I would say that the coworking spaces are meeting a longstanding demand that was not being met. Think of it as an economic model: landlords and investors are making investments with horizons of three, five, 10 years or longer. Tenants have long been saying, “I can’t see out more than a year or two as to what my needs will be, and Mister Landlord, you’re forcing me to make my best guess. Every time I sign a five- or 10-year lease, the odds are I’m going to get it wrong.”

When tenants went to their landlords for flexibility in lease terms, the kinds of flexibility that the investment and development community was offering fell woefully short of what tenants needed. Into the breach stepped the coworking firms, and to a large extent I think it was inadvertent. They were targeting the Millennials and entrepreneurs—people who were looking for a collegial atmosphere to meet with colleagues and experience a community. The coworking providers nailed that out of the box. But the unintentional success was in discovering that there were enterprises out there that were willing to pay a large premium to a) avoid that capital cost and b) more importantly, achieve the flexibility that they had craved all these years and which no one was able to provide.

The economic model of property investing required the landlords to seek commitments of medium to long terms. The businesses were looking for more flexible solutions that could deal with the volatility in their industries. Along comes the coworking provider that says, “I can bridge that gap.”

-Paul Bubny

Developers Tend Toward Trendy Retailers To Bring In Customers, Other Tenants

BISNOW

 

With its green moss archway and hip décor, GiorgiPorgi in downtown Los Angeles has become one of the many trendy must-visit coffee shops in the area.

A year after opening next to Little Tokyo, the small coffee shop on Third Street has been receiving offers from developers to either relocate or open a second location in their development. 

"We’re in negotiations with a couple of places now but nothing definite,” GiorgiPorgi co-owner Giorgia Cirillo said.

Trying to lure startups, unique retail stores, chefs or “cool” businesses with a strong following is part of a growing trend among developers pivoting away from traditional retailers, according to retail panelists at Bisnow's recent SoCal CRE Leadership Conference at 1 California Plaza in downtown Los Angeles.

Macy’s, Sears and other department chain stores have become déclassé and are fighting for survival in a much more competitive marketplace. At least three Sears department stores in the Los Angeles area — Hollywood, Santa Monica and Boyle Heights — have plans to undergo some type of mixed-use redevelopment.

“The news flash is those properties have been dying for years,” Merlone Geier Partners Executive Managing Director Scott McPherson said.

“Anyone who thinks Sears is going to have a surge or Kmart, or JC Penney, they are the walking dead — at least in our opinion,” said McPherson, whose Merlone Geier Partners is developing a former Macy’s site in North Hollywood into a mixed-use lifestyle center, NoHo West.

The Runyon Group principal David Fishbein said many of those retail areas that once anchored department stores have become difficult to market.

Fishbein, whose firm is rebranding the Woodland Hills Village Plaza Shopping Center as the Valley Country Mart, said giving customers a service-oriented product or experience has become the name of the game.

“A lot of these large national chains and brands for decades that have been successful are now having to completely reinvent themselves,” Fishbein said. “If they aren’t, they just aren’t going to make it.”

“The winning projects right now are ones that focus on the more interesting chefs, the more interesting retailers and services that create this kind of experiential destination,” Fishbein said.

But how do you lure those businesses? By offering concessions or discounts, C+C Ventures founder Clare DeBriere said.

“Certain tenants that are huge draws you need to make concessions for,” she said. “Because if you get those tenants, you’ll get all the other ones that will pay a higher rent to be next to those very special places.”

GiorgiPorgi's Cirillo said she is surprised by the amount of attention her coffee shop has received from customers and developers.

She makes it a point to talk to her customers as she pours their coffee into custom-made ceramic cups.

"We do a different type of service here," she said. "We like to figure out how our customers are feeling and what they like. It’s a conversational process rather than systematic.”

-Joseph Pimentel

Daily Brief November 30, 2017 unsubscribe

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