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SANTA MONICA, CA- The Recording Academy, the musicians’ organization that hands out the Grammy Awards, has signed a $91 million lease for nearly 67,000 sf of headquarters office space in a new building at Maguire Properties’ Lantana Media Entertainment Campus, one of the highest rental rates ever signed on the Westside of L.A. Terms of the lease were not disclosed, but industry sources tell GlobeSt.com that the deal is for 66,898 sf for 15 years, which puts the average rent at about $7.55 per sf per month over the 15-year term.

One source tells GlobeSt.com that Maguire’s asking rates for the new Lantana building start at about $5.25 per sf per month. The Lantana campus, at 3030 Olympic Blvd. in Santa Monica, consists of three existing buildings plus two new office buildings developed by Maguire that will bring the total campus to about 550,000 sf when it is built out. The Recording Academy, which is now in 31,733 sf elsewhere in Santa Monica, plans to move into its new Lantana headquarters in the first part of next year.

The Recording Academy was represented by executive managing director Arlene Sommer and corporate managing director Mark Robinson of Studley’s West Los Angeles office, with Maguire represented by leasing SVP Peter Johnston and leasing manager Debbie Tauberg. Studley has also drawn a LEED assignment for the project, with William Robertson, director of project management at Studley’s Downtown Los Angeles office, overseeing the internal construction of the space, including all LEED attributes. Maguire says that, in keeping with the Recording Academy’s green initiatives, the LEED elements of the project will “ensure that every option for energy conservation and savings will be evaluated.”

Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy, says that the organization needs a larger headquarters because its mission and outreach have grown over the years, along with its staff.Maguire’s Lantana project is 93% leased to entertainment and media industry tenants including Todd-AO Studios, Revolution Studios, IMAX, Larry David Productions, Larry Gordon Productions, Steven Bochco Productions, Dick Clark Productions, BermanBraun Productions and Beacon Pictures. The 12-acre campus comprises three original low-rise office and studio production office buildings plus the two new office buildings and parking. The two new buildings were designed by Steven Ehrlich Architects.

Maguire did not disclose a cost for the project in its statement regarding the Academy lease, but public filings by the Downtown L.A.-based office REIT say that the company took out an $88 million construction loan for the development in June 2007. The loan bears interest at Libor plus 1.5% and matures in June 2009, with an option for a one-year extension.

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