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Monday, May 16, 2022

DreamWorks Conjuring Up Glendale Offices

Despite a falling share price and some serious box office bombs, DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. has increased its office space in Glendale. The animation studio’s growing TV production unit moved into two additional floors at 655 N. Central Ave. – about two miles away from its 470,000-square-foot main campus at 1000 Flower St. in the city. The addition of 44,000 square feet on floors six and seven at the 25-story tower doubles the space occupied by DreamWorks, which already leased floors 24 and 25. A five-year lease for the new space was signed earlier this summer. The company would not make anyone available for comment, but said in an email that the increase “corresponded with the expansion of the TV team,” though it declined to offer an employee count. In addition to TV, the building houses company business affairs and accounting units. The building owned by Prudential Insurance Co. of America of Washington, D.C. is marketed at $2.32 a square foot, according to real estate data firm CoStar Group Inc. That’s a bit lower than the $2.38 a square foot average asking rent in the second quarter for Glendale, which had a sky high 20.5 percent office vacancy rate, according to the L.A. office of Colliers International. “Most likely, they didn’t get that price,” said John DeGrinis, senior executive vice president at the Encino office of Colliers. “Landlords are offering free rent to mitigate pricing. They know how to work those assets, but I’m sure they did what they had to do to get that namesake tenant to expand. We haven’t seen a lot of absorption in that market – it’s pretty anemic.” DreamWorks has been looking to expand on television for some time, starting with the hire of former Nickelodeon executive Marjorie Cohn to be its first head of TV last year. The company has several TV shows based on its characters, including “Turbo Fast,” a Netflix original, a show with its famous Kung Fu Panda on Nickelodeon and “Dreamworks Dragons: Defenders of Berk” on Cartoon Network. It also recently started the DreamWorksTV YouTube network. Meanwhile, DreamWorks has been struggling at the movie theater, with back-to-back poor earnings stemming from underachievers “How to Train Your Dragon 2” and “Mr. Peabody & Sherman.” Those follow prior bombs “Turbo” and “Rise of the Guardians,” necessitating multiple write-downs. Printing Expansion A father-and-son tandem running a PIP Printing and Marketing Services franchise have more than tripled their office space. After 27 years in a 1,500-square-foot space in Encino, the two have moved to about 4,800 square feet at 16525 Sherman Way at the Van Nuys Airport Business Park. They signed a three-year lease with options that could extend their stay to 12 years. Brian Bluestein, 30, said the move was long overdue. “We had nine people working in the location,” he said. “It was a difficult working environment.” Michael Bluestein, 64, started the business in the late 1980s, when most of his work was in printing, but the industry has evolved and the two have tried to stay with it. At this point, Michael Bluestein said the largest revenue generator is scanning, archiving and photocopying for litigation work. Revenue is up 13 percent so far this year, he said. “This space allows us to do everything we want,” he said. “We never had a conference room before so we used to meet clients at a picnic table outside the front door. It was sort of embarrassing.” In addition to its litigation work, the shop also works with marketing and has a lucrative deal with Study City fast-casual pizzeria PizzaRev. The two produce all the in-store banners, as well as menus and tabletops for the rapidly expanding restaurant chain. Affordable Living An affordable housing building in Reseda opened earlier this month – and the units were in high demand. Riverwalk at Reseda, a 77-unit project by Abode Communities in L.A. attracted 1,2000 applicant families, said Robin Hughes, chief executive of the non-profit developer. “If you look at the number of applications, it’s a clear demonstration of the need for affordable housing in that neighborhood,” she said. “Housing prices are at a crisis limit. And with the loss of redevelopment and federal dollars, it makes it even harder to get projects like this built.” The $24 million project at 18425 Kittridge St. serves families falling between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income in L.A. County, or between $24,450 and $48,900 per family of four annually. The Riverwalk project got moving in 2011, prior to the state’s dissolution of redevelopment. Abode acquired the 1.8-acre site from Trinity Lutheran Church of Reseda for $4 million. Hughes said the project was financed with about $4 million in redevelopment loans, in addition to a combination of public and private dollars, including tax credits and a line of credit from U.S. Bank, which will remain the permanent mortgage lender. The four-story Riverwalk features 10 one-bedroom, 43 two-bedroom and 24 three-bedroom units. Rents range from $466 to $1,292 a month depending on a unit’s size and a families’ income level. The 88,000-square-foot development includes a no-cost after-school program for youth, in addition to workshops to help adults find jobs. Abode Communities has 33 affordable housing developments with 2,292 homes for some 5,900 low-income residents, including Valley communities in Sylmar, Canoga Park and Pacoima. Staff Reporter Elliot Golan can be reached at (818) 316-3123 or egolan@sfvbj.com.

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