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WMC Mortgage to Call Burbank Its New Home

August 24, 2004|Roger Vincent | Times Staff Writer

Wholesale mortgage lender WMC Mortgage Corp. is moving from Woodland Hills to a former Lockheed Martin Corp. Skunk Works building in Burbank now part of Media Studios North.

WMC will move into 195,000 square feet on four floors at 3100 Thornton Ave. in the complex owned by M. David Paul & Associates, a Santa Monica developer. The estimated value of the 10-year lease is $55 million.

The mortgage lender will move about 1,200 employees in phases starting early next year, said Executive Vice President George Eshaghian.

The company is expanding and plans to add 200 more employees by the end of next year, he said.

WMC will almost completely fill the building, which has been empty since Walt Disney Co. animators moved out in March. It was built by Lockheed in 1968 and renovated in 1996.

M. David Paul may soon start construction of a fourth building in the Media Studios North complex, said principal Jeff Worthe. The company is building a 235,000-square-foot speculative office building in the nearby Burbank Media District that is the second phase of the Pinnacle office and retail complex. It should be completed by early 2006.

The WMC lease is part of about 800,000 square feet of office space that has been absorbed in Burbank in the last 18 months, said broker Carl Muhlstein of Cushman & Wakefield, who along with partner Matt Hargrove represented the tenant.

Overall vacancy in the Burbank Media District was 4.3% at the end of the second quarter. Burbank's city center was 28.7% vacant.

WMC was purchased in June by GE Consumer Finance, the consumer lending unit of Stamford, Conn.-based General Electric Co., from affiliates of Apollo Management.

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