Lionstone Catches a Wave in Santa Monica with $90M Buy

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor Houston-based investment management firm Lionstone Group has expanded its footprint in the Los Angeles office market recently with the $90 million acquisition of five new-wave properties in the oceanside community of Santa Monica, Calif.  The “creative office buildings”, [...]

Houston-based investment management firm Lionstone Group has expanded its footprint in the Los Angeles office market recently with the $90 million acquisition of five new-wave properties in the oceanside community of Santa Monica, Calif.

 The “creative office buildings”, as the Los Angeles Times described them, are former industrial structures that have received complete makeovers and morphed into high-end office spaces.

Santa Monica has recently managed to attract many investors willing to set up shop on the seaside, the  Los Angeles Times  reports. The five properties included in Lionstone’s new portfolio are located at 2415 Michigan Avenue, 631 Wilshire Boulevard, 625 Arizona Avenue, 401 Santa Monica Boulevard and 1351 4th Street. These properties tend to attract technology start-ups, a trend that has prompted a new nickname for the Santa Monica – Venice area: “Silicon Beach.”

Four of Lionstone’s five new buildings were built at least 50 years ago; the lone exception is 1351 4th Street, which dates from 1995. The properties house a diverse group of tenants like computer game company Hooky Interactive Inc.; Pier 59 Studios West, an entertainment-related firm; and radiology service provider Image Advantage. Bolstered by the presence of Yahoo and Google, the area is commanding premium rents compared to comparable properties in Downtown Los Angeles.