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COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

EduTrek to Lease Space in Marina del Rey for Campus

July 21, 1998|BRAD BERTON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

EduTrek International Inc., a growing player in for-profit higher education, will substantially expand and relocate its Los Angeles campus.

The Atlanta-based company has agreed to lease the former Sizzler International Inc. headquarters on West Jefferson Boulevard in Marina del Rey to house the local campus of its business and technology-oriented American InterContinental University.

The L.A. campus--operating since 1982--is currently housed in about 33,000 square feet spread among five buildings in and around Westwood. The 11-year lease for the entire 88,215-square-foot Marina del Rey facility is valued at about $26 million, according to an EduTrek real estate manager. Customized improvements should be completed in time for fall classes in October.

The company is expanding or adding programs in fields such as international business, information technology, video production, interior design and fashion design and marketing, said Steve Franklin, EduTrek's chief academic officer. The number of undergraduate and graduate students attending the university could double from its current enrollment of about 550 within the next 12 to 18 months.

An affiliate of nationwide real estate giant Lincoln Property Co. acquired the vacant Sizzler building about a year ago and began negotiating with EduTrek representatives a few months later. More than $6 million will be invested in the property's technological infrastructure, tenant improvements and furnishings, with EduTrek providing the bulk of the funds.

Steve Solomon, the Seeley Co. broker who represented Lincoln in the lease negotiations along with colleague Craig Meyer, said large pockets of Westside office space have become so rare that the EduTrek deal brings a substantially better rental rate than Lincoln had anticipated when it bought the former Sizzler building.

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