Business

NationBuilder to rent at Biltmore

NationBuilder will rent nearly 55,000 square feet of converted office space in the hotel
Renovations will begin immediately and the company will occupy its new offices in November

Downtown's Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles will have a new long-term guest — tech firm NationBuilder has agreed to rent almost the entire second floor of the historic structure.

The inn built in 1923 is still a thriving hotel, but it became part office complex in the late 1980s when its owners added a 24-story office tower and converted some rooms to office space.

NationBuilder, which is outgrowing its offices in the nearby Pershing Square Building on Hill Street, will rent nearly 55,000 square feet of converted office space in the hotel, real estate broker Andrew Tashijian of CBRE Group Inc. said.

Terms of the 10-year agreement were not disclosed, but landlord WHB Biltmore asks for about $2.50 per square foot per month, according to real estate professionals familiar with the downtown office market.

NationBuilder has 120 employees and creates software to connect and expand communities such as school alumni groups. Chief Executive Jim Gilliam started the company in his downtown apartment in 2009.

"This is a historic opportunity to expand and rebuild our community in the heart of Los Angeles," Gilliam said, "and the Biltmore could not be a more perfect place to do that."

NationBuilder's new offices will include a mix of open, collaborative space; exposed ceilings; red brick walls; glass conference rooms; and an outdoor walkway and lounge area overlooking Pershing Square, Gilliam said.

Renovations will begin immediately, he said, and the company will occupy its new offices in November.

The 683-room Biltmore has been the site of many significant events in Los Angeles history. Eight Academy Award ceremonies where held there. In 1960, future President John F. Kennedy accepted his party's nomination in a speech in the Crystal Ballroom.

Roger.vincent@latimes.com

Twitter: @rogervincent

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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