Viv U’s towering real deal

Company closes on $190 mil building sale

Vivendi Universal said it has closed a $190 million sale of a Universal City office tower. The property, 10 Universal City Plaza, was purchased by Boston-based investment firm Beacon Capital Partners, LLC., in a joint venture with Washington, D.C.-based CarrAmerica Realty Corp.

By the end of the month Viv U also hopes to close a deal to sell another Universal City property worth more than $70 million.

The sales were part of the Vivendi Universal Entertainment group’s strategy to sell non-core, non-essential assets. While parent Viv U has been seeking to shed assets to raise cash and pay down debt, a VUE source emphasized that these sales are not part of that effort and have been in the works for nearly a year.

The 35-floor, 774,240 square-foot office tower is home to U’s home video and international TV distribution biz. About half the space is leased by non-U tenants. The U operations will stay put in the ownership shift.

The $70 million deal includes the sale of the Sheraton hotel, the land it sits on, as well as the land underneath the Hilton, all currently owned and leased out by Viv U.

Local landmark

CarrAmerica will hold a 20% interest in 10 Universal City Plaza as well as run leasing and management of the building.

Malcolm O’Donnell, CarrAmerica managing director for Southern California, said, “10 Universal City Plaza is a landmark building and one of Los Angeles’ premier office towers.”

The office tower is Beacon’s fourth office property acquisition in the Los Angeles area, giving the company a total of 3.3 million square feet of office space.

Construction of the skyscraper was completed in 1984 by the Getty Oil Co. It was designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill, architects of the Sears Tower in Chicago as well as the Lever House on Park Avenue in Gotham.