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UC Group Signs Lease Valued at $16 Million

January 29, 2002|BRAD BERTON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

In one of the biggest office leases the Century Boulevard corridor has seen in several years, the University of California's medical-billing group will consolidate much of its local operations into 81,000 square feet at the renovated Airport Spectrum complex.

The group's 10-year lease with an affiliate of Van Nuys-based Decron Corp. is valued at nearly $16 million.

Decron purchased the 488,000-square-foot property at 5757 Century Blvd. for about $20 million about 11/2 years ago and planned to invest $10 million or more in needed upgrades.

With Westside office rents then skyrocketing, the company expected the improvements to attract large tenants seeking affordable alternatives.

Although Airport Spectrum has some 100,000 square feet still available, the university is the type of tenant Decron principals hoped for, said David Thurman of Grubb & Ellis Co., who with Chris Sinfield and Bill Maher handles leasing at the property.

Robert Gray and Dean Heck of Beitler Commercial Realty Services negotiated on UC's behalf.

The Century corridor, adjacent to Los Angeles International Airport, was one of the Southland's weakest office sub-markets during the early-1990s recession.

It was showing signs of recovery when Decron bought the office complex.

The area continued to improve, but again is facing slack tenant demand as the economy slows.

According to Grubb & Ellis figures, tenants within the 4-million-square-foot Century Boulevard office market occupy about 300,000 square feet less today than a year ago. The vacancy rate has risen from about 22% to 29%.

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