YouTube Inks Long-Term Lease in Playa Vista (Exclusive)

The Hercules Campus
The Hercules Campus
 Studio AMD/Courtesy of Cohen Brothers Realty

YouTube has signed an 11-year lease for a 41,000-square-foot office building at the Hercules Campus in Playa Vista. The deal with landlord Ratkovich Co., a Los Angeles-based real estate investor and developer, closed on Feb. 21.

The space will serve as the Los Angeles outpost of the video-sharing website's Next Lab -- a facility where YouTube partners, from companies like digital production firm Maker Studios to prolific individual contributors, can shoot and edit videos. YouTube opened the first Next Lab office in New York in 2010.

Wayne Ratkovich, CEO of his namesake firm, said that a remodel of the 12475 W. Bluff Creek Drive building, one of 11 historic structures that make up the former headquarters of Howard Hughes’ aircraft company, should be completed by the fall. (The Hercules Campus is named for Hughes' Spruce Goose airplane, which was built there.)

"We are focusing on media, entertainment and technology companies and playing off the creative spirit of Howard Hughes and Hughes Aircraft Co. and all the innovation they brought into this world," Ratkovich said. "Companies like YouTube are exactly who we are going after."

YouTube, a unit of Google, declined to discuss the financial terms of the lease.

In April, Google inked an 11-year lease in Beverly Hills for offices that also house YouTube staff. The lease at 331 Foothill Rd. for 13,465 square feet is valued at $6.3 million. 

The 537,000-square-foot Hercules development, located at the intersection of Campus Center Drive and West Bluff Creek Drive, also incorporates existing soundstages in a hangar originally used to build the massive Spruce Goose. Those soundstages are currently being used by Paramount Pictures, which is filming the next installment of its Star Trek franchise there.

Ratkovich also has closed a 10-year lease for 15,000 feet at the Hercules Campus with marketing agency Earthbound Media Group. That deal was signed Feb. 17. 

The two leases are the first inked by Ratkovich at the property. The company purchased the Hercules Campus for $32 million in October 2010.

Email: Daniel.Miller@THR.com

Twitter: @DanielNMiller

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