In Joint Venture : Scouts Do Themselves a Good Deed: New Building

Depend on the Boy Scouts not only to be prepared but to be creative.

Faced with the need to save money and obtain increased office space, they became partners in a most unusual joint venture.

Their problem, as explained by Richard H. Breithaupt Jr., president of the Western Los Angeles County Council, Boy Scouts of America was this: It owned an increasingly costly and obsolete 30-year-old building at 14955 Saticoy St. in Van Nuys.

They needed more space, and they needed to reduce their occupancy costs. One solution would have been to raise capital to rehabilitate the old building.

But this would not have solved their long-range space needs-- they are the fastest growing Boy Scout council in the nation, serving 55,000 boys and girls in 65% of Los Angeles County. And what's more, occupancy costs would still continue to rise.

Feeling the ever increasing competition in raising funds, they decided to find an alternative. Thanks to prior planning, they did have a capital fund nest egg--the $1.5-million equity in their Saticoy building.

So, they conferred with a committee made up of a "who's who" of the real estate industry: Arthur Burdorf, partner, Standard Investment Co.; Breithaupt, president of Walika Inc.; Edward L. Clabaugh, president, Old Dominion Financial Corp.; Donald E. Lange, president of Weyerhaeuser Venture Capital.

Also, Hoyt S. Pardee, chairman of the board, Weyerhaeuser Mortgage Co.; Richard V. Sandler, Cambrent Financial Group; Donald Watt, vice chairman, Watt Industries Inc., and Mel Wynn president, Glenfed Development Corp. Scout executive Wayne L. Julian, also served on the committee.

The result was that for the first time in the history of the movement, the Scouts entered into a joint venture to build a commercial office building.

Their just-completed $7.5-million, three-story, 56,000-square-foot office building is at 14140 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, two blocks east of Beverly Glen Blvd. It is an undertaking of R. J. Plaza II Limited Partnership.

The Scouts are the limited partners. R. J. Investment Associates is the general partner. Richard A. Gleitman and Joseph R. Held are partners of the latter organization.

The Scouts have become the anchor tenant in a building of which they own 60%, renting 20,000 square feet, or nearly 40% of the space.

As explained by Breithaupt, within five years the Scouts will be paying less to occupy their new, larger, more efficient headquarters, than they were paying in their old quarters. And, he forecasts, within 10 years, the cash flow will, in effect, pay their rent.

In addition, by investing in an income-producing property, says Breithaupt, the Scouts will have created an endowment that in 10 years could rise to a value of up to $8 million.

R. J. Plaza II was designed by Robert L. Barnett AIA & Associates, which also designed the adjoining R. J. Plaza I to the west, and similar in appearance. L. E. R. Construction, owned by Gleitman and Held, was the contractor. Security Pacific National Bank provided the financing.

Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate Services is the plaza's leasing agent. Paul Trbovich and Tim Demshki of Coldwell Banker's San Fernando Valley office brought the joint-venture partners together and are directing leasing activities.

The pair also were responsible for leasing the 50,000-square-foot R. J. Plaza I, which is fully occupied. The new building features 2 1/2 levels of subterranean parking with two elevators to serve all floors. It has a side street parking entrance, thus avoiding Ventura Boulevard congestion.

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