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L.A. Developer Is Buying Nissan’s Old Headquarters

Times Staff Writer

The former North American headquarters of Nissan Motor Co. in the South Bay is being acquired by a Los Angeles real estate developer for more than $75 million.

Kearny Real Estate Co., which specializes in improving and repositioning large Southern California real estate assets, will spend as much as $10 million to “freshen up” the 1970s-vintage, 42-acre office and industrial campus before putting the buildings on the market for lease or sale, Kearny Managing Partner Jeff Dritley said Wednesday.

“Hopefully we’ll get lucky and find a user that wants a big part of the campus, but most of job growth today is at the small-business level,” Dritley said. “We’ll probably fill it with small and mid-sized companies.”

The deal, expected to close in October, comes as office vacancy rates in the South Bay have fallen to 14% from about 20% in the last year and rents have risen about 15%, broker Tony Morales of Staubach Co. said.

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More than 30 buyers bid on the 700,000-square-foot property on the border of Gardena and Carson along the Harbor Freeway, said broker Kevin Shannon of CB Richard Ellis, who represented Nissan in the sale.

Most of Nissan’s more than 500 employees have moved out, said spokesman Fred Standish at the company’s new headquarters in Nashville. A small staff will remain as tenants until January to decommission the 14 buildings, including a nine-story office tower on Figueroa Street.

In the 1990s, Kearny bought 23 acres of former oil drilling property in El Segundo from Chevron Corp. and created Grand Avenue Corporate Center, a project with hotels, offices and a sports training complex.

Last year, Kearny bought a 92-acre manufacturing facility in Hawthorne from Vought Aircraft Industries Inc. for $65 million. It plans to redevelop the property.

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roger.vincent@latimes.com


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