By SHELLY GARCIA Staff Reporter A decision by John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co. to divest the majority of its real estate holdings has put a large block of office space up for sale in the San Fernando Valley. About five Valley properties, including the American Pacific State Bank building at the corner of Sepulveda and Ventura boulevards in Sherman Oaks, are included in a portfolio of about 25 Western region properties that have gone on the block over the past six weeks. Morgan Stanley & Co. in New York is handling the portfolio sale. The Valley office buildings are part of about 10 L.A. County properties included in the portfolio. In addition, John Hancock is selling off another group of smaller office properties through local brokers, for a total of about 20 properties throughout the county. In addition to the 375,000-square-foot American Pacific building, office properties in Woodland Hills, Encino, Westlake Village and Long Beach also will be up for sale. John Hancock officials said the decision to sell was spurred by the strong real estate market here. “We really concluded that this was a good time for John Hancock to take some gains out of the real estate it owns,” said Kevin McGuire, vice president for the Boston-based company’s real estate investment group. The L.A. sale is part of a national divestiture that includes about 150 properties divided into three portfolios. John Hancock will retain 30-50 properties, McGuire said. The properties that has been put on the block were chosen because “maximum value for the properties was nearly achieved,” McGuire added. The company has not yet set any sale prices for the portfolios. “We’re offering them and waiting to hear what the market says about the value,” McGuire said. He added that interest so far has been good. John Hancock hopes to complete the sales by the end of the year. Cornering the market Douglas, Emmett & Co., which is in the process of redeveloping the Sherman Oaks Galleria, has acquired a second major property across the street from the shopping mall. The company closed escrow in July on the 171,000-square-foot Glendale Federal Bank building on the northeast corner of Sepulveda and Ventura boulevards in Sherman Oaks. Prentiss Properties Inc., a Dallas-based real estate investment trust, was the seller, according to Jon Dishell, vice president of Douglas Emmett Realty Advisors. The company declined to disclose the purchase price. The property spans 4.33 acres, and includes a retail store occupied by RiteAid at the eastern end and a low-rise building occupied by Hoffman Brown Insurance fronting Sepulveda Boulevard to the west. Douglas, Emmett, which acquired the Galleria a year ago, has been working on a redevelopment plan that would shift a portion of the mall’s retail space to office use and substantially expand the theaters and restaurants. The company said it expects the Glendale Federal building, located directly across the street from the Galleria, to benefit from the mall’s facelift. “We hope what’s going to happen (at the Galleria) will make this office building more attractive,” Dishell said. “We hope there will be synergy.” Douglas, Emmett has gotten a green light from local community groups for its redevelopment project, and many of the mall’s retail spaces have been vacated in preparation for the renovation. But the Galleria’s major tenant, Robinson’s-May, still stands in the way of the redevelopment plans. “We’re moving forward to get them out,” said Patricia Glaser, a partner with Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, which, on behalf of Douglas, Emmett, has filed suit against the Robinson’s May charging the department store with violating provisions of its lease agreement. No court date has yet been set. Hit the road Roadhouse Grill, a chain of steakhouse restaurants, has signed a multi-year lease at the Fallbrook Mall in Woodland Hills, according to Irwin Hyman, a broker with Capital Commercial/NAI in Encino, who represented the company. The restaurant will build on a 6,700-square-foot site and expects to open in the fourth quarter of this year. The new restaurant is one of seven the company’s parent, Buffets Inc., expects to open in Southern California through next year. The Roadhouse chain currently operates in several locations in Oregon, San Diego and Solano Beach. Sagamore begins spree San Francisco-based Sagamore Equities LLC has purchased a two-story, 83,000-square-foot office building in Burbank for $10.1 million the first of what the company expects will be a series of acquisitions in the Los Angeles area. The building, at 3015 Winona Ave., has large, flexible floor plans, high ceilings and more than 6,000 square feet of raised floor space to support technology infrastructure. Paul Stockwell and Will Adams with Julien J. Studley represented Sagamore. The seller, Community Bank, was represented in-house by Richard Nahas, who has been retained to lease the property. Schaeffer gets room to grow Schaeffer Magnetics, a division of Moog Inc., has signed a 10-year lease for an expanded headquarters building in Chatsworth, according to Scott Caswell and Ross Thomas of Delphi Business Properties, who represented Schaeffer. The building, located in the Northpark Industrial Center, includes 32,000 square feet of office space and 38,000 square feet of manufacturing space. The lease is valued at $5 million. Schaeffer, which is currently located at another site in Chatsworth, currently employs about 160 workers. The company, makers of motion control systems for the aerospace industry, expects to expand to 200 employees within two years. News & notes D.M.S. Property Management Inc. sold a 36,700-square-foot industrial building in San Fernando to a group of private investors. Warner Center has a new tenant: Horizon/CMS Healthcare has signed a lease for 14,183 square feet of office space in Plaza 3. Medtronic Inc. has expanded its space in Warner Center’s Plaza 2. The company, which had occupied 13,000 square feet, has expanded to 14,343 square feet. Best Data Products Inc., a computer peripherals maker, has leased 28,350 square feet in the Northridge Industrial Park in Chatsworth. The five-year lease is valued at $1.1 million.