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Thursday, Sep 28, 2023

New Plan for Ex-Anthem Headquarters

Avi Lerner, owner of the former headquarters of health insurer Anthem Blue Cross, has proposed a plan to redevelop his Warner Landmark building at 21555 Oxnard St. in Woodland Hills.While Lerner has yet to submit plans to the Los Angeles Planning Department, he has shared his vision with the Planning and Land Use Management Committee of the Woodland Hills Warner Center Neighborhood Council.The plan proposes an adaptive reuse of the officer tower with amenities such as restaurants and a separate hotel on the property. Parking would remain in an existing subterranean garage.The transformation would entail two phases. Phase I would focus on remodeling the building for residential use, while Phase II would see the construction of a neighboring 300-key hotel tower perched atop 17,000 square feet of supermarket space.Lerner purchased the building in 1993 for $76.9 million. The 14-story Warner Landmark, which covers 434,204 square feet, sits on 6.28 acres of prime real estate in Warner Center. During its 42-year history, the tower has had only one tenant: Anthem.Lerner has enlisted CallisonRTKL and landscape architecture firm Relm to design the Warner Landmark redux. CallisonRTKL is the architecture studio behind the designs on such mega projects as LA Live, the Space Needle Plaza in Seattle and the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center.Since Anthem Blue Cross vacated the 14-floor, 450,000-square-foot building in late 2018 and relocated to another Warner Center office park, brokers at CBRE Group have struggled to market the Woodland Hills building to other tenants. In March of 2019, Lerner, with Lincoln Properties Co. West, had been eyeing the beginning of 2020 as the start date to renovate the brown building into a white-colored, millennial-friendly office campus.CBRE Group office brokers Matthew Heyn and Jeff Pion were assigned to lease Warner Landmark version 2.0. They had hoped to target young companies such as tech and coworking entities as prospective occupants.  Lerner now has a new plan. If approved by the city of Los Angeles, his concept would be the latest to unfold at Warner Center. Nearby, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield has plans for a $1.5 billion overhaul of its Promenade mall. There is also a hotel coming to the parcel that has long hosted Fry’s Electronics store across the street from Warner Landmark on Canoga Avenue.  

Michael Aushenker
Michael Aushenker
A graduate of Cornell University, Michael covers commercial real estate for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. Prior to the Business Journal, Michael covered the community and entertainment beats as a staff writer for various newspapers, including the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, The Palisadian-Post, The Argonaut and Acorn Newspapers. He has also freelanced for the Santa Barbara Independent, VC Reporter, Malibu Times and Los Feliz Ledger.

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