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Recording Academy will move headquarters in '09

May 02, 2008|Roger Vincent | Times Staff Writer

The Recording Academy, the organization that hands out the music industry's annual Grammy awards, said Thursday that it would move its headquarters a few blocks next year to a new building in Santa Monica.

The academy will double the size of its offices with the move from 3402 Pico Blvd. to a building at 3030 Olympic Blvd. in the Lantana office park it has agreed to lease from Maguire Properties Inc.

Although the price of the lease was not disclosed, industry experts who know about the deal but asked not to be identified because negotiations were confidential put the value of the 15-year agreement at more than $90 million.

The new building will accommodate growth for the academy and "allow it to remain in our longtime home of Santa Monica," President Neil Portnow said.

Maguire Properties completed the 67,000-square-foot building last month. The academy will work out a plan with its architect for an interior design and expects to move in next March, a spokeswoman said.

Office vacancies in Santa Monica are at 10.5%, up from 6% a year ago because a burst of sublease space has come on the market as rent prices continue to rise. Average rent is almost $5 a square foot a month compared with $4.11 a year ago, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

"Santa Monica is one of the areas that is still strong," said broker Mark Robinson of Studley Inc., the real estate firm that represented the academy in the lease.

Part of the city's appeal as an office market is that it is near such neighborhoods as Brentwood, Pacific Palisades and Malibu, where many entertainment industry executives live, Robinson said.

The academy owns its current headquarters on Pico Boulevard but hasn't decided whether to sell it or offer it for rent after the move, a spokeswoman said.

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roger.vincent@latimes.com

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