LOS ANGELES-Real estate magnate Robert J. Maguire III will hold a press conference at the giant Playa Vista development today, but reporters and brokers who expect him to announce a widely anticipated sale of a majority stake in his $2-billion portfolio will be disappointed, GlobeSt.com has learned.
Instead, a spokesperson for privately held MaguirePartners says, the developer will use today’s press gathering to name the architect he has chosen to handle design duties for the campus-style office component of the 1,087-acre Playa Vista project. The campus will include more than 2 million sf of class A space when it is completed a number of years from now.
Yet, even bigger news is in the offing. Maguire says he’ll decide soon whether to sell a major stake in his roughly 5-million-sf office and industrial portfolio–a package that includes such landmarks as the 72-story Library Tower in Downtown and Plaza Las Fuentes in Pasadena–to an outside investor.
MaguirePartners hired investment banker Credit Suisse First Boston earlier this year to find a buyer for a majority stake in the company’s holdings. Several pension funds and other private investors have expressed interest, but brokers say that REIT giant Equity Office Properties appears to be the most serious suitor.
Although Chicago-based Equity Office completed its $7.3-billion acquisition of fellow REIT Spieker Properties Inc. only last week, analysts note that the company still has plenty of cash and borrowing power to also acquire a major stake in MaguirePartners. The two companies aren’t strangers: Equity Office and Maguire began co-developing the 450,000-sf Water’s Edge project on the western rim of Playa Vista earlier this year, and EOP recently raised its equity stake in the development to 87.5%.