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$300-Million Medical Office Complex Planned in West L.A.

November 01, 2002|Roger Vincent | Times Staff Writer

One of the largest medical office complexes in California, a $300-million campus that eventually may include a surgical hospital, is being planned in West Los Angeles.

The project by Stonebridge Holdings Inc., near the northwest corner of Bundy Drive and Olympic Boulevard, comes as health-care properties are one of the few strong performers in the commercial real estate industry.

Westside Medical Park, as the project is being called, would consist of four six-story medical office buildings totaling 750,000 square feet and two parking structures.

They would surround a six-acre, $6-million Japanese-style garden that would be open to the public.

An environmental impact review of the project is underway. Teledyne Technologies Inc. occupies part of the site. Its lease expires in 2007.

Stonebridge hopes to receive city approvals by next September, said Michael R. Lombardi, president of the Los Angeles company that develops and manages medical office buildings.

Although most of Southern California's commercial real estate market is mired in a slump, the expanding medical industry -- including the growth of outpatient surgery centers -- has pushed the vacancy rate for medical office space across the region to about 5%, roughly one-third of the rate for office space, brokers and property owners say.

In Beverly Hills, home to one of the nation's most prestigious clusters of medical office buildings, medical office landlords are getting some of the highest monthly office rents in Southern California -- nearly $4 a square foot.

Rents at the proposed Westside Medical Park would be between $4.25 and $4.50 a square foot, Lombardi said.

If Stonebridge officials decide to add the hospital, it would push the projected completion date from January 2007 to mid 2008, Lombardi said.

The project, which will be built in three phases, is a joint venture with Menlo Park-based insurer Argonaut Group Inc., which has owned the property since the early 1950s.

It is being designed by Los Angeles architecture firm AC Martin Partners.

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