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PLAYA VISTA, CA-First Federal Bank of California has signed an 89,219-sf lease at Brentwood Capital Partners’ 12555 Jefferson Blvd. building in the latest example of Westside office tenants moving south in search of less expensive space. As part of the same move, First Federal has leased 32,000 sf at 5800 Hannum Ave. in the Fox Hills area of Culver City.

First Federal’s 89,219-sf lease takes the entire building at 12555 Jefferson as part of the consolidation of two bank offices previously located in Santa Monica and the airport area of Los Angeles, according to CB Richard Ellis brokers who represented Brentwood Capital in the 12-year deal. The bank’s 32,000-sf lease is at a property owned by PS Business Parks and is located across from Symantec’s new headquarters, according to brokerage Leonard & Ohren, which represented PS Business Parks.

“As a whole, the Playa Vista market is becoming much stronger and is much more affordable than the Westside,” comments Joe Kimaz, a member of the CBRE team that represented Brentwood. Kimaz, who cites rental rates in the area at $2.75 per sf per month, says those figures compare very favorably to the $4 to $6 per sf in Santa Monica.

Kimaz points out that this southward migration trend is expected to continue to grow in the next 12 to 36 months “as more companies evaluate the rent structure in this market and calculate the potential cost savings.” He notes that substantial new office space will become available in the Playa Vista area with Tishman Speyer’s recent purchase of 64 acres and Lincoln Property’s Horizon at Playa Vista project now under way

Kimaz was part of a CBRE team including Stan Gerlach and Bryan Dunne on the landlord side of the deal at 12555 Jefferson Blvd. First Federal was represented by Cushman & Wakefield’s Eric Olson, Jeff Welch, Lynn Williams and Patti Gilbert, who also represented the bank in its 12-year lease at 5800 Hannum Ave. In the Hannum Avenue transaction, PS Business Parks was represented by Britten Shuford and Andy McMullen of Leonard & Ohren.

The Jefferson Boulevard building is one of only a handful of office buildings in the area and is located directly across from the new Playa Vista project. Brentwood Capital Partners bought the 20-year old property in March 2006 and since then has completely renovated all of the building’s common areas, including the creation of an enclosed lobby, corridors and restrooms. The building has been largely vacant during renovation.

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