The Simi Valley Unified School District has bought a specialty building in the city previously used for entertainment production to house its district operations.
The district paid $13.2 million for 101 W. Cochran St., according to Mike Tingus, broker and president of Lee & Associates – L.A. North/Ventura Inc., headquartered in Sherman Oaks, who negotiated the deal on behalf of the school district. The 120,000-square-foot building was once a production facility for the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The seller was Hollywood veteran Steve Needleman, a former TV producer who owns the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, and who bought the building last year for $11.5 million. Needleman hoped to attract production studios from Hollywood and Burbank, and while he did numerous renovations to the property, was unable to attract a long-term user. It features offices as well as soundstages and audio recording and editing studios in addition to parking for 338 vehicles.
The building will be the new headquarters of the district and house its fiscal and education services as well as administration, currently at 875 W. Cochran St. in Simi Valley.
Tingus said the property fits the district and its intended purposes “like a glove.”
“I couldn’t be happier for these people,” Tingus said. “They hung in there even though the market is so tight. It was like trying to find a needle in the haystack.”
Ron Todo, associate superintendent of business and facilities for the school district, said its focus currently is moving educational services there.
“It will provide a much better service for our school district,” Todo said. “The current building –we’ve outgrown it and it’s outdated. The district has had conversations on and off for 30 years to move the district office. In the last go around, it’s been two and a half years.”
Ron Feder, a broker with Keller Williams Calabasas Real Estate, brokered the deal on behalf of Needleman.
The purchase is part of a larger movement within the district to consolidate facilities and rid itself of older and unneeded buildings and properties.