A former postal processing and distribution center in Del Rey has once again changed owners, the latest of whom plan to open commercial offices.
Santa Monica-based Worthe Real Estate Group and Shorenstein Properties have purchased the 20-acre property at 13031 Jefferson Blvd. in Del Rey for approximately $44 million from Wells Fargo & Co. A spokesperson for Shorenstein Properties, a nationwide real estate investment firm, said the terms of the transaction were not disclosed but the acquisition was made through a lender-facilitated sale.
The property, which sits across from a Home Depot store, comprises of two vacant office/warehouse buildings, including the former U.S. Postal Service Marina Processing and Distribution Center, totaling about 380,000 square feet. The Postal Service closed the facility in July 2005 to consolidate operations into a larger processing center in South Los Angeles.
Shorenstein nor Worthe Real Estate officials could be reached for comment on the transaction but they stated in a news release that the companies plan to redevelop the site, which is pre-entitled for up to 380,000 square feet of commercial office space.
Company officials pointed to the parcel’s desirable location near Playa Vista and within close proximity to beachside communities and Los Angeles International Airport, offering easy access to major surface streets and freeways.
“The prime location and fundamentals of this site provide us with a perfect opportunity to create a state-of-the-art, sustainable office campus offering one of the largest contiguous blocks of space in the Playa Vista market with broad appeal to users, especially creative companies such as technology firms as well as digital, arts and media tenants,” said Charlie Malet, Shorenstein executive vice president of investments.
According to Shorenstein, redevelopment plans include buildings up to 20 to 30 feet in height and underground and surface parking. Some potential additions to the complex include a fitness center, cafeteria and public space such as a recreation area with outdoor basketball courts and walking trails.
Shorenstein spokesman Andrew Neilly said the companies plan to seek at least a LEED Gold status on sustainable development for the project. Construction is slated to begin on the new campus before the end of the year.
The 20-acre property was first bought from the Postal Service by The Home Depot, Inc. for approximately $75 million in 2006 and had since changed hands with other owners.
When the federal agency first put its property on the market, the sale attracted interest from a diverse group in the community including developers, local environmentalists and Del Rey community members hoping to create youth recreational fields at the site.
Chris Nevil, the former president of the Del Rey Homeowners and Neighbors Association, was part of the task force that sought to add to the community’s limited green space and said the most recent sale of the land reminded him of the effort to acquire a portion of the site for public use.
“It brings back the memory of a slightly ubiquitous but exciting idea that the community really rallied behind,” Nevil said of the one-time proposal for park space along Jefferson Boulevard.
Nevil said he would like to learn more about the new owners’ plans for the complex and if they would be open to exploring a space for a community-type asset. Jeff Worthe, co-owner of Worthe Real Estate Group, could not be reached for comment on whether the company would consider hearing from the community in regards to its redevelopment plans.
Adjacent to the former postal processing center building is a separate retail facility, the Alla Vista Post Office. The post office, which is leased by the Postal Service, has been closed for some months after telecommunication lines were cut during a construction project, Postal Service spokesman Richard Maher said.
The agency is currently working to restore the communication lines, which has been a complex situation, and hopes to reopen the post office within a month, Maher said.