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GLENDALE, CA-Union Bank of California has signed a five-year lease valued at more than $4.5 million for 29,299 sf of office space at Glendale Plaza, bringing Los Angeles County’s first spec high-rise to be built in a decade to 100% occupancy.

Union Bank’s Select Benefit Department, which services 401(k) plans, will relocate from Panorama City to Glendale next February, says Union Bank VP Craig Poletti. The 25-story Glendale Plaza, which has 533,000 sf of class A space, stands at 655 N. Central Ave.

Glendale Plaza was built by LA-based PacTen Partners through a partnership with Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund. The $100-million speculative project was considered a risky venture when it broke ground in late-’97, in part because the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena market’s all-important entertainment industry was showing signs of weakening.

Indeed, leasing at the project started slow: It opened last spring with only about 35% of its space occupied. But the entertainment business has regained its strength, and Glendale Plaza itself has also been successful in attracting many top-notch, non-entertainment clients.

Though Glendale Plaza’s diversified tenant roster includes some entertainment companies—such as fast-growing Hispanic Broadcast Network—it also includes insurers, financial-services firms, pension fund giant CalPERS and others who are largely immune to Hollywood’s ups-and-downs.

David Powell of NAI Capital Commercial’s Pasadena office represented Union Bank in the building’s latest deal. The owners were represented by Nicole Wilson and Doug Marlow of the Glendale office of CB Richard Ellis.

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