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Investor Buys Hollywood's Siren Studios for $60 Million

Exclusive: Luxury Developer Has Plans for Renovation and Development
November 28, 2017
Hollywood's Siren Studios campus has traded hands - and is heading for an overhaul by L.A. luxury developer Plus Development LLC once Buzzfeed, Inc. moves out next year.

Siren Studios LLC sold its 1.7-acre creative campus at 6061-6087 W. Sunset Blvd. last week to a limited liability corporation that lists a Westwood condo address. The sales price was not disclosed, but sources estimate the deal to be around $60 million. That's nearly double what Siren Studios refinanced the campus for only three years ago.

Little is known about the new owner, listed as 6061-6087 Sunset Trophy LLC, led by a local investor named Maggie Gong, who declined to comment for this story.

However, the buyer has enlisted the help of Plus Development, a developer behind several notable projects such as West Hollywood's London Arts Club. Plus was co-founded by Christopher Carlin and Tyrone McKillen, son of Irish billionaire developer Paddy McKillen and a Hilton and Hyland real estate agent whose brother, Dean McKillen, developed luxury homes, including Beyonce and Jay-Z's Bel Air residence.

The team is looking to renovate the Siren Studios site, which comprises about 70,000 square feet of office and retail space among multiple buildings at the corner of Sunset and Gower Streets, into a customized creative campus. The team also plans to explore options to build a new tower that could include live-work units. McKillen said that the site has potential to build upwards of 350,000 square feet.

"We see a pocket where it's attractive to create your own campus," said Andrew Hurley, director of development for Plus, in an interview with CoStar. "There's a live-work capacity on the site that could be geared around production too, so that's just one of the schemes we are entertaining."

The owner is in negotiations with "major production companies who are to remain nameless at this time," to lease the entire property, according to Hurley.

"We are sticking to its roots and expanding and creating a more well-defined campus as it currently may feel a little more piecemeal," Hurley said. "It's a super-hot market for production right now in Hollywood."

McKillen agreed, adding that his company recently purchased a small Hollywood building at 743 N. Seward St., where it plans to raze the other structure and build a new headquarters.

"We are big believers in the area," McKillen said.

Production facilities and creative office buildings have been huge hits in Hollywood in recent years as marquee tech and entertainment companies like Netflix and Viacom have leased hundreds of thousands of square feet -- some even before the offices have been fully built. It's made Hollywood one of the hottest submarkets in Los Angeles County with an office vacancy rate of only 8.3 percent last quarter, according to CoStar data.

Adam Tischer, a senior vice president at Colliers International who does deals in Hollywood, said the project could be successful if the developer finds a way to unify the campus' multiple buildings through renovation or development.

"Creative users are looking to be collaborative and to inspire creativity," Tischer said. "If they plan on creating more modern creative space that has more cohesion to cooperate and collaborate then that is definitely the right move."

Former owner, Siren Studios, refinanced the property, once home to Technicolor, in 2014 for $34.3 million with a limited partnership that includes Beverly Hills' United Security Investors. The firm then redeveloped and renovated the site to make it a fully functional studio with stages and photo studios.

The Siren Studios office buildings are currently fully leased to the editorial team of Buzzfeed's video unit, which signed a two-year lease with a one-year extension option in 2015. Its real estate representative, Robert Cavaiola at Savills Studley, said the company will be moving from the studio site but will not announce its new location until sometime next month. The tenant's anticipated move-out date is slated for April 2018.

While the new owner has not suggested a complete redevelopment of the property, the potential for development was an attractive component of the deal, McKillen added.

John Tronson, a long-time Hollywood broker and principal at Avison Young who is not involved with the sale, said that the deal wouldn't make sense as a pure redevelopment play in the short-term.

"I never liked the site from a development perspective," he said. "There are too many improvements. Its value as improved exceeds its land value."

See CoStar COMPS #4065254 for additional information on this sales transaction.

Jacquelyn Ryan, Los Angeles Market Reporter  CoStar Group   
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