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Nelson Rising Calls Downtown Office Market Strong During Earnings Call

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, March 03, 2009, at 06:22PM
Downtown Skyline Eric Richardson [Flickr]

The Downtown office tower landscape is dominated by Maguire towers.

Despite the economic downturn, Maguire Properties CEO Nelson Rising says that the Downtown office market remains strong. During an earnings call this morning, Rising told analysts that the company's Downtown towers have a vacancy rate of 12.65%, with five of eight properties holding vacancy rates of less than 10%. "These are very good numbers and reflect the strength of the overall downtown market," Rising said.

An office market report (PDF) published at the end of 2008 by Grubb & Ellis showed the Central Business District (Downtown) with a 13.8% vacancy rate, but that number includes all classes of office buildings.

Maguire's current Downtown vacancy is up slightly from the end of September, when its holdings were at a 12.2% rate. Rising cited the limited number of leases set to expire this year as a good sign for 2009. "It's a good time given the overall economy to have that kind of a rollover profile," Rising said according to a transcript published on investor site Seeking Alpha.

Maguire is the largest owner of Class A office space in Downtown Los Angeles, with nine million square feet of office space. The firm has a 20% ownership interest in Cal Plaza One, which lead partner Macquarie has asked to be put up for sale.

Rising became Maguire's CEO in May of 2008, when he was named as replacement for company founder Robert F. Maguire, III.

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