Up-and-coming video game publisher Riot Games Inc. will move to a new campus in West Los Angeles after signing what may be the biggest new office lease in Southern California in the last five years.
The maker of international online gaming hit "League of Legends" has agreed to rent all 284,000 square feet in the Element LA creative office campus being built on Olympic Boulevard between Bundy Drive and Centinela Avenue.
Riot Games makes only the one game, but it operates around the clock. Each month more than 32 million people in nearly 150 countries play "League of Legends," making it one of the most-played computer games in the world. Teams of players gather in virtual arenas to battle over turf.
Riot Games staffers are now scattered among multiple locations in a Santa Monica office complex. The company expects to move 1,000 employees to Element LA when it opens in 2015 and plans to keep growing to 1,500 workers at that location.
Element LA is a $150-million development by Los Angeles landlord Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. Terms of its 15-year lease agreement with Riot Games were not disclosed, but Hudson Pacific was asking for monthly rent of $3.75 a square foot, according to property experts familiar with the Westside.
Hudson Pacific is making Element LA into a five-building complex on 12 acres. The centerpiece for the campus is a 1950s-era, 167,000-square-foot building with high wood bow truss ceilings, saw-toothed skylights and industrial windows.
"Element LA is a one-of-a-kind property that generated significant interest from prospective tenants," said Victor Coleman, chief executive of Hudson Pacific.
Among the would-be occupants were white-collar firms not engaged in creative businesses such as entertainment or technology, which usually gravitate to conventional high-rise office space, Coleman said.
Riot Games wanted the whole campus, which gave them a leg up in the deal.
"We really loved the idea of having one tenant in the whole campus, and Riot Games liked the idea of a dedicated campus exclusively theirs," said real estate broker Jeff Pion of CBRE Group Inc., who helped represent Hudson in the transaction.
Element LA will have a five-story parking garage and is across the street from a planned stop on the Expo Line light rail line, which is under construction and will connect Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles.