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LOS ANGELES-In a transaction that dramatically illustrates the escalation of Westside commercial property values, Newport Beach-based Crown Realty & Development has paid nearly $50 million for the 330,000-sf, four-building Wateridge Park office development on Goldleaf Circle, near Slauson Avenue and La Cienega Boulevard in the suburb of Culver City.

The Westside office of Colliers Seeley represented Crown and the sellers, Legacy Partners Commercial, Irvine, and a real estate fund managed by Goldman Sachs & Co. The owners had paid $28 million in 1997 for the 21-acre business campus, which is 98% occupied.

Partners Realty Capital arranged the financing for the just-completed transaction. Crown plans to add a five-story, 180,000-sf office building, with completion scheduled in about a year, says Colliers Seeley broker John Bibeau. The project has room for another 90,000-sf building, he adds.

Vacancies have been plunging and sale prices rising in Culver City and adjacent areas, as rents and offering prices soar in the more glamorous markets of nearby Santa Monica and Century City, Bibeau says. The vacancy factor in Culver City and the rest of the submarket that Bibeau calls the “lower Westside” has dropped below 3%, the broker adds.

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