AEG Leases Desmond Building for Ticketing, Live Entertainment Divisions
Lincoln Property Company, owner of the historic downtown Los Angeles office building The Desmond, has reached an agreement with AEG to lease the entire building, located at the corner of Hope and 11th Streets just two blocks from their corporate headquarters at L.A. LIVE, enabling the global live sports and entertainment company to consolidate many of its worldwide L.A.-based divisions across 82,000 sf under one roof.
The company plans on relocating more than five hundred employees from its AEG Live (including Goldenvoice) and AXS Ticketing (including Outbox Technologies) divisions. The move further solidifies downtown Los Angeles as the center of arts, culture, dining, sports and business in the region.
AEG Live is the world's 2nd largest concert touring and promotions company. The global organization dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performance is comprised of touring, festival, exhibition, broadcast and special event divisions, 15 regional offices, and owns, operates or exclusively books 35 state-of-the-art venues as well as annual festivals such as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Stagecoach.
Founded in 2011, the AXS ticketing and entertainment platform that also serves as AEG's primary consumer brand. AXS Ticketing has already established itself as one of the world's fastest growing ticket sources having distributed tickets in 2013 for venues including STAPLES Center, StubHub Center, Sprint Center, Best Buy Theatre Times Square, Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre and London's The O2, the world's busiest music venue. In addition to its ticketing operations and ownership share of AXS TV, the division's portfolio of investment companies, include Carbonhouse, a leading website developer for venues, Frontgate Ticketing, a festival oriented ticketing platform owned in partnership with C3 Presents, and Bypass, the venue industry's leading supplier of cloud-based food and beverage point-of-sale systems.
"By bringing the AEG Live and AXS Ticketing divisions to The Desmond, we are reaffirming our commitment to downtown Los Angeles," said Ted Fikre, Vice Chairman and Chief Legal and Development Officer, AEG. "With this decision, we are bringing leading global brands in the ticketing and live music business to what is clearly now the region's most important business district. That's a big move for us and a significant win for Downtown."
Lincoln Property Company, which purchased The Desmond in March 2013, has already started transforming the building, constructed in 1916 as the Willys Overland Company's car dealership and assembly plant. The building, which later became a Desmond's department store warehouse, is located along the proposed line for the Downtown Los Angeles Streetcar project.
"This project will breathe new life into the long-vacant Desmond building and answer the ever-increasing call for creative office spaces, while bringing 500 new jobs to Downtown L.A.," said Councilmember José Huizar. "Whether we're talking about commercial reuse for creative office and boutique hotels like we're seeing on Broadway, new construction like we're seeing in South Park and the Arts District, or finding new uses for gems like the Desmond building, it's clear Downtown Los Angeles is open for business."
To prepare The Desmond for occupancy by AEG, Lincoln will deliver high-quality, creative office space and a ground floor café. The transformation includes the addition of a 7,000 sf sixth floor that will bring the total size of the building to 82,000 sf. Construction is anticipated to last eight months, with full occupancy expected in April 2015. This will be the first of many potential renovations of historic properties located in the South Park district for creative office use.
In recognition of Mayor Eric Garcetti's pledge to improve earthquake safety in Los Angeles, The Desmond will also undergo a full seismic retrofit including significant seismic upgrades that will retain the historic fabric of the building while meeting recently enacted high standards for earthquake safety. Renovation plans also include updating building mechanicals, replacing windows, and upgrading interior finishes, while maintaining many of the building's existing attributes, including high ceilings and rooftop views.
"This is exciting news for our city, showing again that Downtown Los Angeles it is one of the hottest and most vibrant neighborhoods in America to work, live and play," said Mayor Eric Garcetti. "I want to thank Lincoln Property Company and AEG for their commitment to improving the economy and earthquake preparedness of Los Angeles."
Design for the renovation of the building and the interiors of the AEG space is by the Los Angeles office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP (SOM).
The adaptive reuse of this 5-story concrete and brick building will include loft offices with a new glass pavilion added above the existing roof, creating a new 6th level. SOM's design will include significant structural upgrades into the building to fully meet the seismic and lateral loading code. The existing steel windows will be refurbished and new storefronts will be designed for the Street Level.
"The Desmond is a great example of how a long-dormant warehouse building with uniquely authentic design characteristics and historic value can be transformed into a 21st century office hub for one of our city's and country's leading entertainment companies," said Rob Kane, Vice President with Lincoln Properties. "We're confident that The Desmond will be a model for responsible restoration of early 1900s concrete structures in Los Angeles, and a showcase of creative office space in the thriving South Park area of downtown"
The Desmond, along with its adjacent parking lot, is located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles' burgeoning South Park District, situated just two blocks east of STAPLES Center and L.A. LIVE - both AEG-developed and owned facilities. The immediate neighborhood encompasses 32 square blocks of residential properties and includes many of the most dynamic retail and entertainment venues in downtown including numerous new clubs, bars and restaurants.
"This project, an important new element of the 'My Figueroa' street scape development, will continue the establishment of 11th Street as a busy and vibrant east-west pedestrian corridor that connects South Park to L.A. LIVE while anchoring the southerly alignment for the Street Car project," said Ted Tanner, Executive Vice President Real Estate, AEG.