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L.A. Arts District Picks Up Steam with New Online Coupon Company Lease

Honey Signs Deal for 130,000 SF in Hudson Pacific's Former Coca-Cola Plant
August 3, 2018
Honey will occupy the entire Fourth & Traction building at 963 E. 4th St. in Los Angeles beginning in mid-2019.

Online coupon company Honey Science Corp.’s new lease at a redeveloped former Coca-Cola manufacturing plant is the latest sign that downtown L.A.’s Arts District may not be all hype.

Honey signed a deal for all of L.A. real estate investment trust Hudson Pacific Properties Inc.’s 130,000-square-foot Fourth and Traction campus, located at 963 E. Fourth St. in Los Angeles, in the second major office lease this summer in the neighborhood. The Los Angeles Times first reported the deal.

The company, which makes a browser add-on that searches the web for online shopping discounts, plans to relocate and consolidate two offices totaling 40,000 square feet at Eighth and Figueroa Streets in downtown L.A.’s financial district to the new campus next summer.

It has hired architecture and design firm Gensler, which has a designed a number of tech company offices across the state, to build out the interior of the former Coca-Cola campus, according to Honey's Chief Operating Officer Glen Allison.

“We hope it’s one of the best spaces in L.A. to promote what employees are really looking for in the tech sector,” he said, adding that the firm intends to add programmed events for employees and the community when it opens its doors next summer.

The building has a roof-top deck that is prime for outdoor events, he added. The company will have more than 300 parking spots at the property as well. Allison said his firm is eager to customize it into a comprehensive "Honey-style" campus for the company's employees and future recruits.

Hudson Pacific bought the manufacturing property in 2015 and has been renovating it into a creative office-ready campus since.

The Honey lease follows a deal by music-streaming service Spotify that leased 110,000 square feet in the nearby mixed-use development At Mateo earlier this summer.

Warner Music Group, which signed a deal for 257,000 square feet in a former Ford factory in the Arts District two years ago, is expected to relocate from Burbank and move into the neighborhood later this year as well.

John Zanetos, senior vice president at Los Angeles real estate brokerage CBRE Group Inc., said that Honey’s lease following Spotify’s is a signal the area is picking up momentum.

“It’s very significant,” he said. “It’s another vote of confidence for the Arts District and we think there are going to be a few more deals to follow.”

In total, the deals do seem to be giving more weight to the idea that the Arts District, which has historically been a quiet and affordable warehouse district inhabited by a number of artists, could be the next cool tech spot in a city with a growing industry.

Tech companies from Google to Riot Games have widely congregated in the beachside cities from Santa Monica to Playa Vista, but as those areas fill up and hit peak pricing, more have been looking inland.

Downtown boosters, developers and investors for years have been investing in the area and proclaiming the Arts District’s attractiveness with its stable of historic buildings and cool vibe. But until recently, Warner Music was one of the only the major symbols the area could actually draw major businesses to relocate.

"It's simply the coming to fruition of what we have been seeing bubbling under the surface the whole time, so it certainly doesn't come as a surprise," said Nick Griffin, senior vice president of economic development at the Downtown Center Business Improvement District. "Developers of the Coca Cola factory, the Ford factory or At Mateo [renovations] were building into what they believed was demonstrable demand and it was simply a matter of time."

Jacquelyn Ryan, Los Angeles Market Reporter  CoStar Group   
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