Santa Monica's Centinela Studios Production Facility Sold (Exclusive)
Centinela Studios, the Santa Monica film/television production and office facility, has been purchased by Watt Investment Partners from real estate investor Perloff-Webster Co. for an undisclosed sum. The transaction was completed June 4.
The roughly 60,000-square-foot property at 3401 Exposition Blvd. includes a warehouse that houses a 30,000-square-foot main soundstage that has been home to such television productions as FX's Wilfred, The CW's 7th Heaven and The WB's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, among others. Films that have shot there include The Doors (1991) and Suburban Commando (1991).
The property also includes a 4,000-square-foot office building and sits on 1.65-acres. The facility dates back to 1961; it was originally built as the headquarters and manufacturing facility of the American Shower Door Co.
Watt Investment Partners, the acquisition arm Santa Monica-based real estate services firm Watt Cos., plans to remodel the property and is targeting production and creative office tenants. Watt's planned upgrades include new power and ventilation systems, and cosmetic upgrades such as new windows and improved outdoor spaces.
There has been increased demand for entertainment office space in the Santa Monica area in recent months. In the 17.7 million-square-foot creative Westside market -- which includes Santa Monica, Culver City, Marina del Rey and Venice -- the vacancy rate was 12 percent in the first quarter, down from 15.5 percent a year earlier, according to Industry Partners, a commercial real estate brokerage. And sources say Hulu, Miramax and Demand Media are looking for space or nearing deals in the area.
"Having the ability to deliver 30,000 to 60,000 feet is relatively unique -- if not completely unique -- in this market. Especially for true creative space," said Dean Pentikis, managing partner at Watt Investment. He said that the building's undisclosed current tenant is expected to vacate the property at the end of June.
Centinela Studios is about one mile from several other entertainment office properties, including Colorado Center and the Water Garden, where CBS Television Distribution recently inked a $15 million lease for 53,000 square feet of space.
Watt has retained Industry Partners to handle the leasing of Centinela Studios.
Venice-based Perloff-Webster did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.