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Wednesday, Aug 17, 2022
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Company Washing Hands of Old Headquarters

As company sales recover from the downturn in commercial construction, Bobrick Washroom Equipment Inc. is getting ready to move into its new build-to-suit headquarters. The North Hollywood company, which makes partitions and accessories for public and commercial washrooms and toilet compartments, plans to move to its space at 6901 Tujunga Ave. beginning later this month. That’s about 500 yards from its longtime headquarters in the 11600 block of Hart Street. “The old place is 48 years old. It was built for a company of much smaller size and was very inefficient,” said Doug Morton, senior vice president of corporate development. Morton declined to provide the square footage of the three-story building for what he called “competitive” reasons. But he said it’s “modestly” larger than the roughly 80,000-square-feet it had in total at its two Hart Street buildings. Morton also declined to disclose development costs of the building, where 150 employees will work. But last year another executive told the Business Journal it totaled about $20 million. The company was founded in 1906 by the Bobrick family. It was purchased in the late 1940s, and moved about 25 years later from Elysian Park to North Hollywood. The company brought in Gensler, a prominent San Francisco architecture firm with a large L.A. office, to design the new headquarters. “This is going to be a vast improvement for our employees, with more meeting space, a better lunch room and a beautiful outdoor patio,” Morton said. The building is on about three-and-a-half acres the company has owned for years and leased to industrial tenants. A 70,000-square-foot building on the site was torn down last year to accommodate the new facility. Morton said the company’s move should be complete by May. Bobrick has six locations in North America and a few outposts overseas, including Australia and the U.K. The new facility will house its corporate office, a warehouse and manufacturing operations for soap dispensers and toilet partitions. Its Hart Street buildings were acquired in October by Selective Real Estate Investments in Encino. Financial details on the transaction are not available, but Selective did get $5.5 million in financing from California United Bank, according to real estate data firm CoStar Group Inc. Bobrick is leasing it back until it completes the move out, and then it will be put on the market. Chad Gahr, a senior vice president at the Encino office of NAI Capital Inc., said there is already interest in the property. “It’s hard to come by buildings like this so close to Burbank airport and the studios. We expect a quick lease up,” said Gahr, who represented the buyer along with his partner, David Young, also a NAI senior vice president. Glendale Goody Equinox Fitness has signed a lease at one of the sexiest buildings in Glendale for a gym expected to open next year. The company is taking the second floor at 207 Goode Ave., a concrete midrise structure designed by L.A. engineering firm AECOM that features glass walls and other distinctive architectural features. Equinox, a unit of New York real estate developer Related Cos., often takes space in office buildings where it provides convenience to a ready pool of affluent potential customers. It has similar operations in the Warner Center Towers, First Financial Plaza in Encino and Lakeview Corporate Center in Thousand Oaks. The chain has nearly 20 locations in Southern California. Equinox took about 27,000 square feet in Glendale in what was likely a 10-year lease, according to market sources. The189,000-square-foot tower is marketed at $2.50 a square foot. Equinox didn’t make anyone available for interview, but a spokesperson confirmed the new location and said a sales office has been opened at the American at Brand retail center. Doug Marlow, an executive vice president at the Universal City office of CBRE Group Inc., who is the leasing broker on the building, declined comment. The building was constructed in 2009 by now defunct L.A. landlord MPG Office Trust, and was sold to current owners Lincoln Property Co. of Dallas and Morgan Stanley in New York a year later for $23 million. The building, despite its attractive appearance and LEED Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council, struggled through the recession. However, recent leases brought it the headquarters of Fortune 500 label maker Avery Dennison Corp. and the regional headquarters for Austin-based premium grocer Whole Foods Market Inc. Staff Reporter Elliot Golan can be reached at (818)316-3123 or egolan@sfvbj.com.

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