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California and the West

Offices in Playa Vista Planned

April 28, 2006|Roger Vincent | Times Staff Writer

Office construction may soon begin at a long-fallow site in Playa Vista that was once part of aerospace mogul Howard Hughes' empire and later expected to be the home studio of DreamWorks SKG.

Dallas developer Lincoln Property Co. is in final negotiations to purchase 14 acres of raw land from Playa Vista for $100 million, according to real estate sources familiar with the deal.

The property is in the center of the campus section of the Playa Vista residential and business development, south of Jefferson Boulevard and east of Centinela Avenue. It is zoned for the construction of about 1 million square feet of office space.

Office vacancy on the Westside has fallen to about 8% after years of softness following the dot-com crash and 9/11.

With the market tightening again and rents rising, developers are scrambling to find land for new construction and Lincoln Property outbid several other large national players for the Playa Vista land.

Representatives for Playa Vista declined to comment on the pending deal. Lincoln Property executives didn't return calls.

Thousands of residences have been sold or are under construction at Playa Vista and Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso is set to build a neighborhood shopping center there.

DreamWorks SKG announced plans to build a $250-million studio at Playa Vista in 1995 but backed out four years later, citing financing problems. Since then, Playa Vista officials have been looking for businesses to take over the 47 acres once used by Hughes to build the infamous Spruce Goose and other aircraft.

The pending transaction was reported Thursday by the Slatin Report, a real estate news service.

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