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SANTA MONICA, CA-Douglas Emmett Inc. has acquired 1.4 million sf of office in six class A buildings in West Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley from West Los Angeles-based Arden Realty Inc. for $610 million and plans to invest significantly in capital improvements in a number of the buildings. The portfolio is 88.7% leased, with buildings that offer “repositioning opportunities at a real discount to their full potential,” according to a statement by Jordan Kaplan, president and CEO of locally based Emmett.

The acquisition is one of the largest by Emmett since the company went public in October 2006. The REIT’s new assets include 2001 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica;9100 Wilshire Blvd. and 8383 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills; 15250 and 16000 Ventura Blvd. in the Sherman Oaks/Encino submarket; and 21300 Victory Blvd. in the Warner Center/Woodland Hills submarket.

Kaplan points out that the six properties are all located in submarkets where Emmett already has a strong presence. The transaction has more than doubled the square footage that the REIT owns in Beverly Hills, increasing its market share there to 18% from its previous 7.8%. Emmett’s financing for the deal included $380 million of first trust deed bridge financing for nine months that was provided by an Arden affiliate.

The deal boosts the size of Emmett’s total office portfolio by 11.8% to 54 properties totaling approximately 13.2 million rentable sf. The company also owns 2,868 apartment units in Los Angeles and Honolulu. Recently, it added an office building in Hawaii with the purchase of a Honolulu building at 932 Ward Ave. for $18 million.

For Arden, the transaction continues a strategy of buying and selling assets that the company has pursued since the former public REIT went private in 2006 in a buy-out by GE Real Estate. In February, for example Arden placed five million sf of its Southern California office properties on the market. The company said at the time that it is still on the lookout for acquisitions as a part of its long-range plan for shaping its portfolio since the former REIT sold out to GE.

In one of its largest deals since going private, Arden last summer sold a portfolio of office properties totaling 4.6 million sf to a unit of Mexico’s Gisca for $1.5 billion. Soon after the company agreed to that deal, it bought a portfolio of 38 former CarrAmerica office properties totaling 106 buildings and 5.9 million sf from the Blackstone Group for approximately $2 billion.

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