Media Studios North Draws 2 Big Firms


Through lease transactions said to be valued at a combined $24 million, two large corporate tenants have agreed to join Walt Disney Co. at Burbank's newest office complex, the Media Studios North development adjacent to the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport.

Both will relocate from prominent high-rises to the five-story, 215,000-square-foot building that M. David Paul Development is just completing along Ontario Avenue.

Equilon Enterprises, the oil refining and marketing group formed by Shell Oil Co. and Texaco Inc., will relocate from Texaco's offices at the landmark 10 Universal City Plaza and other locations. Equilon, which ranks among the nation's largest gasoline retailers, has agreed to lease 65,000 square feet of offices for 10 years in a deal valued at $18 million, according to the Santa Monica-based David Paul group.

And IBM Corp.'s Microcaddam subsidiary has agreed to lease 20,000 square feet, also for 10 years, in a transaction valued at about $6 million. Microcaddam, a vendor in the computer-assisted-design marketplace, will move from downtown Los Angeles' Wells Fargo Center.

Brad Feld, the Cushman & Wakefield Inc. broker handling leasing at Media Studios North, said the deals at the project's second phase represent a coup for David Paul, which is competing for tenants with owners of buildings in the area as well as developers of substantial office projects in the Burbank vicinity.

M. David Paul Development is also converting the former National Medical Enterprises/Tenet Healthcare headquarters in Santa Monica into a multi-tenant office complex and is planning a major studio and commercial development on a site the firm is acquiring from KTLA-TV owner Tribune Co. on Hollywood's eastern flank.

Jim Travers, president of Travers Realty/Oncor International, who negotiated the deal on Equilon's behalf along with colleagues George Katunich and Lawson Martin, said Equilon sought its own home close to Texaco.

Microcaddam was based in Burbank before consolidating with other IBM operations in downtown L.A. several years ago, said Clayton Hovivian of Cushman Realty Corp. who, along with Christina Bellinghausen, negotiated for the tenant.

As its name suggests, Media Studios North was conceived to serve media-oriented tenants in and around Burbank, where the office-vacancy rate dipped to historic lows last year. Disney occupies Media Studios North's entire 200,000-square-foot first phase.

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