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WOODLAND HILLS-An investment group that specializes in repositioning sagging properties in strong submarkets has acquired the 62,000-sf Warnerview office building for $9.8 million with the hope of boosting its tenant base from 65% to 85% in the first six months of ownership.

“When we saw a beautiful, class A building in the Warner Center submarket at way below occupancy, we immediately targeted it,” Zaya Younan, chairman and CEO of Younan Properties, tells GlobeSt.com of the unsolicited offer that gave his firm ownership of the 5959 Topanga Canyon Blvd. building in Woodland Hills.

Younan says the three-story office building with an underground garage, located near Ventura Boulevard and the 101 Freeway, suffered a major blow to its occupancy level when the large national law firm of Arter & Hadden closed its doors after declaring bankruptcy. The move left tenants such as the Unihealth Foundation, Greystone Management Properties and Canon Stanley Insurance Brokers among the remaining occupants.

Younan remains confident that his locally based firm can turn the building around quickly through an aggressive leasing strategy designed to put companies into those vacant offices quickly. “We’ve already begun an aggressive leasing program, coupled with a renovation effort, in order to bring Warnerview’s occupancy rate to 85% in six months,” he says. “We are confident we will be able to stabilize this asset in a short time.”

One day after buying the property from Kearny Real Estate Co., Younan’s firm began work on interior renovations and improving the building’s exterior landscaping with the addition of a garden-style park at the property’s main entrance. The work, says Younan, will allow the firm to put the now vacant space back on the market at full service lease rates of $2 per sf.

Younan Properties was represented in the sales transaction by John Battle with Lee & Associates of Los Angeles. The seller was self-represented.

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