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LOS ANGELES-J-M Manufacturing of Livingston, NJ has acquired the 5200 W. Century Blvd. office building from locally based Arden Realty, according to Jones Lang LaSalle. Terms of the sale of the 325,000-sf office building were not disclosed, but industry sources say it was about a $64-million deal.

As part of the sale, the new owner will retain the building-top signage for promotional advertising space and approximately 55,000 sf of leasing space on the ninth and 10th floors. The company will consider a variety of options, but has no plans to utilize this space or relocate its offices to the West Coast.

The seller was represented by a JLL Team that included Peter Best, Lisa St. John and Dan Baumeister, who also have the leasing assignment for the building under the new owner. Best tells GlobeSt.com that the building location at the southwest corner of La Cienega and Century boulevards, close to a qualified labor pool, was a driver of the deal.

J-M’s acquisition of the building will provide “a pivotal boon to the LAX office submarket,” according to Best, who points out that the market has often suffered from availability rates north of 30%. However, several factors are working to change that vacancy rate, Best explains.

First, “a lot of tenants have been squeezed out of the West L.A. market” and are candidates to move to places like LAX and El Segundo because of high rents on the Westside, Best says. He notes that El Segundo absorbed 300,000 sf of office space in January and February.

The LAX market has appeal for tenants who want to reduce their rents but still want a Los Angeles address, Best explains. Another factor that stands to benefit the submarket, he adds, is the airport expansion at LAX, which is going to take office space off of the market for conversion to airport service uses.

Tenants in the 5200 W. Century Blvd. building include the County of Los Angeles, Expeditors, Landmark Education and Phoenix Software. The office tower was built in 1982 and was remodeled in 1997. J-M was represented by Robin Leamy of Mohr Partners in the acquisition.

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