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Wells REIT Buys Nestle Building in Glendale

Acquisition of the 20-story city landmark is part of the Atlanta firm's plan to expand its presence in California.

December 24, 2002|Roger Vincent | Times Staff Writer

The headquarters building of Nestle USA Inc., a Glendale landmark, has been acquired by an Atlanta-based real estate investment trust for $157 million.

Privately held Wells Real Estate Investment Trust bought the 20-story tower at 800 N. Brand Blvd. from Douglas Emmett, a Santa Monica real estate investment and management firm.

Emmett, one of the Southland's biggest office and residential landlords, bought the building in 1995 for about $115 million. It was built in 1990 to serve as headquarters for Carnation, then a Nestle subsidiary. Nestle restructured twice in the early 1990s and took over the building.

Nestle's lease for almost the entire 505,000-square-foot building lasts until 2010, according to CoStar Group, a real estate data provider.

"The Nestle building is considered one of the highest-quality office properties in the entire Los Angeles area," said David Steinwedell, Wells' chief investment officer.

The acquisition is the first of a planned series of transactions to expand Wells' presence in California, where the company owns four other buildings, Steinwedell said.

Formed in 1998, Wells specializes in acquiring income-producing office and industrial properties with long-term leases to Fortune 500-caliber tenants. Southern California holdings include the Matsushita Avionics building in Lake Forest and the Quest Software building in Irvine.

The REIT is part of Wells Real Estate Funds, which has completed 29 transactions totaling more than $1.3 billion this year. Wells manages $2.2 billion in assets for its three investment products, the company said.

The Nestle building was designed by Los Angeles architects Johnson Fain & Pereira Associates, now known as Johnson Fain Partners. It features marble, hardwood and brass trim and an outdoor plaza with fountains, walkways and sculptures. It includes test kitchens for product development and an eight-story parking garage.

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