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Historic Hollywood Office Campus Sold to Developer as Demand for Production Space Grows

Bardas Buys Hollywood Exchange Complex from BLT Enterprises

By Jack Witthaus CoStar News March 30, 2022 | 2:11 P.M.

A Hollywood office campus that was home to Technicolor during the golden age of film has been bought by a developer of entertainment properties as demand surges in Los Angeles for space for TV and movie production.

Bardas, based in West Hollywood, purchased the Hollywood Exchange at 6311 Romaine St., formerly known as Television Center, from Santa Monica-based real estate investor BLT Enterprises, people with knowledge of the deal confirmed to CoStar News. A source said the price was about $135 million, but the number could not be be verified through public records as a deed wasn't available. The building has roughly 200,000 square feet of leaseable space.

BLT acquired the property in August 2020 for about $64 million, according to CoStar data. Representatives for Bardas and BLT Enterprises declined to comment to CoStar News. It's not clear what Bardas plans to do with Hollywood Exchange. BLT said in June 2021 that it planned to renovate the property to make it attractive to streaming giants such as Amazon and Netflix, according to previous CoStar reporting. The building features studio and soundstage space. The Art Deco campus features five buildings built between 1930 and 1966 that sit on 6.4 acres, according to previous CoStar reporting. The building's current tenants include Gold's Gym, creative production company Lola Production and architecture and engineering firm DCM, according to CoStar data, and the building is about 78% occupied. According to BLT's website, the site was once the headquarters for Technicolor and a studio lot for Metro Pictures Corp., which merged into Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1924.

Bardas has been on a tear buying and developing properties around Hollywood. In December, the developer revealed plans to build 75,000 square feet of office space at 1200 N. Cahuenga Blvd., less than a half-mile from the Hollywood Exchange property. Bardas also is developing a 600,000-square-foot studio campus at 5601 Santa Monica Blvd.

The firm's activity is part of a Hollywood market rife with entertainment development and leasing activity. Some of the biggest names in film and TV production, including Netflix, Paramount and Viacom, have taken space in Hollywood and firms serving these streaming giants have been growing nearby. CoStar previously reported that post-production firm Company 3 leased the entire 130,000-square-foot 1001 N. Seward St., a four-story project developed by Los Angeles-based real estate investment trust Hudson Pacific Properties.

Production-related property has been selling for eye-popping prices. New York real estate investor Georgetown Co. bought the roughly 75,500-square-foot Hollywood Media Campus at 1350 N. Western Ave. for $93 million, or about $1,240 per square foot, in February. The property is leased to Netflix. Also in February, Houston real estate investor Hines spent more than $42 million on the land beneath the roughly 30,000-square-foot, golf ball-like Burbank Media Studios Phase VII and VIII in its foray into buying production space.

The Hollywood office market has an average vacancy rate of 17.4%, higher than the greater Los Angeles average of 13.8%, according to CoStar data. The market's average annual rent is $54.70 per square foot, far higher than the greater L.A. average of $41.54 per square foot.

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