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  • Writer's pictureLee ISG

Office Tower in Woodland Hills Prepares for Life After Anthem

Warner Landmark to Undergo Major Renovation to Attract New Tenants

The owner of one of the most prominent office towers in Woodland Hills, California, is preparing for a $50 million renovation on the property, which is set to become vacant for the first time in three decades when health insurance firm Anthem Blue Cross moves out this year.

Real estate firm Trident Group, the private owner of the 12-story office building known as Warner Landmark located in Warner Center at 21555 Oxnard St., has hired commercial real estate firm Lincoln Property Company’s LPC West division to reposition the project, according to global commercial real estate firm CBRE Group.

Architectural firm CallisonRTKL and landscape architecture and urban design firm RELM Studio are designing the project to include a new entrance while opening up the building’s grand plaza to offer an open-air experience along with a gym and conference center. The building's parking is expected to expand to below-ground stalls with direct elevator access to office floors.

“This is an unusual opportunity,” David Binswanger, senior executive vice president at LPC West, said in a statement. “Anthem has been a tenant in this building for more than 30 years. Now that their lease is expiring, ownership has a chance to revamp the entire property and start with a clean slate. I have no doubt it will serve as a catalyst to eventually reposition the entire block, so it can better serve the needs of this area today.”

The property is located within Warner Center, a district that is undergoing a major transformation into a bustling city center in Los Angeles County's San Fernando Valley. Among the largest developments in the plan is Westfield Promenade 2035, a project that is planned to include two hotels totaling up to 1,432 residential units, 244,000 square feet of retail space, 629,000 square feet of office space and a 15,000-seat entertainment and sports venue.

Last year, Anthem decided to vacate the 448,000 square feet it has occupied since the Warner Landmark building was built in 1977, and move into 169,000 square feet at the office complex called Campus at Warner Center at 21215 - 21255 Burbank Blvd., owned by a joint venture between real estate developer and owner Lincoln Property Co. and investment manager Angelo, Gordon & Co.

The move leaves vacant its current 14-story office tower that sits on six acres adjacent to a 26-acre surface parking lot that Anthem owns and had previously listed for sale.

Bob Sonnenblick, chairman at real estate firm Sonnenblick Development, said his company put in an offer to buy the property a year ago but did not close the deal.

Sonnenblick said the area has a “great working base residentially surrounding” it and is in proximity to a number of retail and restaurant options.

“I think it’s a fabulous place to live and a fabulous place to locate a business,” Sonnenblick said.

CBRE is helping lease the office space, which will be advantageous for tenants looking for more affordable space than can typically be found on the Westside of Los Angeles, according to Matthew Heyn, executive vice president at CBRE, who will be marketing the space for lease along with Jeff Pion, vice chairman at CBRE.

“For three decades, this building didn’t have any space available,” Heyn said in a statement. “This is a great opportunity for any employer looking to be part of the fantastic developments that are happening in and around the Warner Center and being able to tap into the large and diverse labor pool this area has to offer.”

Work is scheduled to begin at the site on Jan. 1 next year, after Anthem moves out. The renovations are scheduled to be completed by the middle of next year, according to CBRE.

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