$188M Financing Deal Paves Way for New William Morris HQ in Beverly Hills
- May 12, 2008
A joint venture involving New York City-based George Comfort & Sons Inc. and Morgan Stanley Real Estate’s Prime Property Fund, have secured $188 million in refinancing for an existing office structure and construction funding for the development of a new office and retail building in Beverly Hills. The new structure, which will become the headquarters of the William Morris Agency, and the existing building will total 376,500 square feet.JP Morgan Chase, originator and administrative agent of the loan, partnered with Wells Fargo to lead the financing endeavor that involved three additional banks. The new building (pictured) will sit on the site of a former parking facility near the existing nine-story office structure, which carries the address of 9465 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills’ prestigious Golden Triangle. George Comfort and Morgan Stanley acquired both the 45-year-old 9465 Wilshire and the neighboring lot for $135 million in 2005. The William Morris agency will make its home in 150,000 square feet of the new structure under a 15-year lease agreement.Despite the presently unfavorable lending market, the joint venture did not have to jump through hoops to attain the refinancing and construction loan. “Having a tenant in place and the property being right in the Golden Triangle helped facilitate the financing,” a source familiar with the transaction told CPN today. And it wasn’t just the renowned William Morris agency that helped seal the deal. “The [existing] building’s known as the ‘Power Tower’ because of its prestigious Hollywood tenants like Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment.” A 90-year-old firm, George Comfort focuses on acquisition, asset and property management, and brokering, as well as full-service leasing, construction and financing services. The company owns and operates a portfolio of about 10 million square feet in commercial real estate. Morgan Stanley Real Estate is a global concern involved in investing, banking and lending. The company has acquired $165 billion in real estate assets around the world over the last 17 years.