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LOS ANGELES-The Milk Group, a leading photo studio based in New York City, has signed a lease for up to 30 years for 46,500 square feet of industrial R&D space in the original Technicolor Studios building at 855 N. Cahuenga Blvd. to open its first Los Angeles area office. Executive vice president Neil Resnick of Grubb & Ellis tells GlobeSt.com that the photo studio, which he describes as pre-eminent in its industry, looked for space for a year to find just the right building and location for its foray into L.A.

Resnick, who was part of a Grubb & Ellis team including vice president Martin McDermott and associate Nicole Gregoire who represented the photo studio, says that the lease is for 10 years at a fixed rate, with two 10-year options after that–all at pre-negotiated fixed rates. The space, which was built in 1947 to facilitate neighboring Paramount Studios, is owned by a family trust that was represented by Robert Waller of CB Richard Ellis. It will be one of the Milk Group’s largest facilities.

Resnick tells GlobeSt.com that the new space, which the photo studio is slated to move into in June, represents the type of prestigious address that the Milk Group was looking for to match its reputation as a high-end studio that top photographers rent for their shoots. It will be the location of Milk Studios and House Production and Casting.

The 46,500-square-foot lease represents the rare instance of a company moving into the market and filling space at a time when many leases are renewals for tenants that are either downsizing or keeping the same amount of space. Resnick calls it “extraordinarily atypical” in terms of what is going on in the market today.

Milk Studios partner and creative director, Mazdack Rassi, and partners Erez Shternlicht and Moishe Mana made the decision to expand into the L.A. market with assistance from Dwayne Gathers, formerly with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. Gathers advised the photo studio on government regulatory, community relations and tax issues.

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