WMA move a health benefit

Relocating to 'green' offices in '09

WMA is planning to relocate its West Coast headquarters to a new, environmentally friendly office building in early 2009.

The move to what WMA said will be a state-of-the-art building located on North Beverly Drive will keep the agency in Beverly Hills, where it has owned and operated its current headquarters since 1955.

WMA will be the sole office tenant of the new building, a six-story, 201,000-square-foot structure with retail and restaurant space on the ground-floor level as well as a multilevel underground garage. The WMA office space also will house a 180- to 200-seat, technologically advanced screening room, according to the agency.

WMA added that the structure is the first in Beverly Hills to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified as a "green" office building. The LEED Building Rating System, developed by the Washington-based nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council, looks at such areas as sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

The building will be developed by George Comfort & Sons and designed by architecture firm Gensler.

"We have spent a great deal of time, energy and thought working with the developer and architect to ensure that this is one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in all of Southern California," WMA CEO Jim Wiatt said. "It was not only important for us to remain in Beverly Hills but to make sure that we occupy a building that puts us all under one roof and is healthy for our employees and for our environment."

After the move, WMA said, it will lease its two existing buildings at One William Morris Place (aka El Camino Drive).
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