Colorado Center in Santa Monica is going to be renamed Yahoo! Center.

Yahoo! signed a 229,728-square-foot lease with Equity Office in January for space at the Colorado Center.

Yahoo! is scheduled to begin its move into a small amount of available space this month, according to Joanna Stevens, Yahoo! spokesperson.

As part of the long-term lease agreement, as well as adding visibility to the marketplace, Colorado Center — located at 2401 to 2525 Colorado Ave. and 2400 to 2500 Broadway — will be renamed “Yahoo! Center,” according to Equity Office officials.

Yahoo! plans to consolidate its two existing Santa Monica offices and occupy 64,671 square feet at Yahoo! Center by the end of this year, and expand to the leased 229,728 square feet by 2008.

Yahoo! Center will house the Yahoo! Media Group, headed by Lloyd Braun, which includes Yahoo!’s movies, TV, entertainment, music, games, finance, news and weather, sports, health and youth businesses.

“By having a stronger presence in Los Angeles, Yahoo! is uniquely positioned to develop a comprehensive, integrated approach to online content opportunities, establish stronger relationships with the media community and to attract the best and brightest talent,” Braun says.

Equity Office, which currently owns 2.8 million square feet of Santa Monica’s 7.8-million-square-foot office market, acquired the 1.1-million-square-foot office campus for $443.6 million in July in a joint venture with TIAA-CREF.

The center houses a health and fitness center, a lap pool, specialty retail shops, a professional childcare facility, a food court and general food services.

“The lease reinforces our decision to acquire the property and add upside value through a leasing program designed to target the premiere companies in the media, technology and entertainment industries,” says Bert Dezzutti, Equity Office Los Angeles Region senior vice president.

“When we acquired the property, we were confident we’d be able to attract new companies, as well as accommodate the growth needs of existing companies.”

The six-building Yahoo! Center lies in the heart of what is becoming known as the Santa Monica Media District and is part of the reason Yahoo! chose Santa Monica for its expansion.

“There are a lot of media companies in that area — it’s close to Viacom and MTV,” Stevens says.

“The company as a whole is growing and the location is a hot spot for the types of companies we’ll work with in the future.”

Other companies in the complex include CBS, HBO, Symantec and the advertising agency Rubin Postear & Associates.

The expansion is part of Yahoo!’s broader strategy to continue to invest in the future of online media and content.

“We’re already leaders in this area and want to develop further,” Stevens says.

Making full use of the “always on” phenomenon as more Internet users subscribe to broadband instead of dial-up, the Yahoo! Media Group plans to provide users with world-class information and the most comprehensive media experience, according to Stevens.

“The most popular activity online is utilizing content,” Stevens says.

Based on that, Yahoo! will continue to provide links to local TV listings, news and gossip on TV shows and ratings, but will take these multiple interest areas to another level, such as with exclusive clips of programs and sneak previews, along with other ideas currently in development, he says.

Stevens says Yahoo! is not out to accomplish this growth on its own.

“Yahoo! is committed to partnering with media companies and we have a large global audience that will greatly benefit these companies as well,” he says.

Since Yahoo! will move into space that was previously occupied, the company doesn’t expect to add to traffic congestion in the Yahoo! Center area, according to Stevens.

Regarding increased career opportunities with the expansion in Santa Monica, Stevens says Yahoo! expects to experience strong growth in the next few years and, once established locally, the Santa Monica office will have a human resources presence.

In the meantime, Yahoo!’s company job site already lists opportunities for the Santa Monica location and job seekers can apply online. Most technical jobs, such as in engineering and for those who build Web sites, will remain in the company’s headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, according to Stevens.

Front-end positions, such as interfacing with other media companies, product and content production and business development will be filled through present employees and transfers as well as through new hiring.

For information on careers at Yahoo! click on “company info” at www.yahoo.com

Julie Kirst can be reached at

juliekirst@yahoo.com

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