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Arden Buys Parcel in Howard Hughes Center

April 23, 1998|Melinda Fulmer

Beverly Hills-based Arden Realty Inc. said it has completed its $18-million purchase of 45 acres in Howard Hughes Center--one of the last large parcels in Los Angeles zoned for large-scale construction. The purchase is Arden's first crack at development, giving the real estate investment trust enough land and development rights to build about 10 office buildings totaling 1.3 million square feet. The offices, along with a retail and entertainment center planned for the Westchester site, will change the complexion of that part of the Westside, which has seen little construction in recent years. "We saw this as an opportunity in a great location in a market that can support the development," said Diana Laing, Arden chief financial officer. Arden has tapped Brentwood-based Lowe Enterprises to serve as construction manager at Howard Hughes Center, and perhaps at other developments Arden chooses to take on, Laing said. Arden will spend about $8.5 million to put in new infrastructure such as streets and curbs before breaking ground on a 300,000-square-foot building early next year. Company officials say completed office space could be ready 18 months later. Arden is also targeting the site's remaining high-rise, the Blue Cross building, which is being purchased by Fort Worth-based Crescent Real Estate Equities.

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