New VFX Firm Magnopus Sets Up in Downtown L.A.

Downtown VFX Firm - H 2014

Downtown VFX Firm - H 2014

The company, founded by Oscar-winning visual effects artists Ben Grossman and Alex Henning, is the first entertainment tenant in the PacMutual building.

A version of this story first appeared in the Jan. 31 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Magnopus, a newly created company founded by Oscar-winning visual effects artists Ben Grossman and Alex Henning (Hugo), along with Rodrigo Teixeira, has just signed a five-year lease for creative offices in downtown L.A.'s PacMutual building.

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"We looked in Santa Monica, Venice and Culver City, but downtown L.A. offers us the ability to connect with other companies and clients around the globe," says Teixeira, who describes the company as a "visual research firm that does work in the entertainment industry and beyond."

Grossman, nominated this year for Star Trek Into Darkness, and his fellow founders along with 20-plus employees, will occupy a 5,000-square-foot space on the penthouse level. Other tenants in the Beaux Art structure, where Showtime's House of Lies is filmed, include women's clothing retailer Nasty Gal, which has 60,000-square-foot offices.

"We've done 51 leases in here and Magnopus is the first entertainment tenant," says Industry Partners agent Carle Pierose, who handles all brokerage and marketing of the building for owner Realty Rising. Pierose says the Magnopus move is indicative of downtown L.A.'s growing appeal for creative office tenants.

"A lot of knowledge workers are living in Silver Lake and Los Feliz, and downtown's amenity base has finally caught up to what the entertainment industry expects for doing business. Right now you can get leases for $3 a square foot here, while Santa Monica is more like $6. But that could change as downtown catches up."