The Venice property that long housed the offices of famed designers Charles and Ray Eames has sold to real estate investment firm DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners.
The deal for the 901 Abbot Kinney Blvd. building closed in early July; the seller was NextEngine Ventures, a private investment firm. Real estate sources said that the price was in the range of $12 million to $14 million. DLJ declined to discuss the price.
The 14,275-square-foot building previously housed an office of Facebook, which vacated the facility at the end of 2011 and moved to other offices nearby. The property has one tenant: design firm Continuum.
DLJ, which is based in New York and owns the Taft Building in Hollywood, plans an extensive remodel of the building, which features 20-foot ceilings and original brick walls. The company plans to lease the building to technology, media and design firms.
The property served as the Eameses’ office from 1943-88, and it was there that they designed many of their iconic pieces of furniture. They are perhaps best known for the Eames Lounge and Ottoman and molded fiberglass chairs that have long been fashionable. The property is not protected by any historical designation.
"We are very focused on preserving the aesthetic quality of the building and being very respectful of its heritage" said Jay Glaubach, director of DLJ. "We are going to modernize a couple aspects of it."
David Thind of Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT, who represented both parties in the transaction, said that there was strong interest in the property, adding that producer Joel Silver toured it and "expressed interest" before deciding to purchase the Venice Post Office on Windward Circle.
"It’s a historical building — the Eames family built their furniture there," said Thind, who declined to discuss the price. "It’s probably the finest trophy building in Venice."
Venice has become one of Los Angeles’ most popular office destinations for technology and media companies. Google opened a 500-person office on Main Street in November; ad agency Zambezi Ink, owned by Kobe Bryant, moved into new offices on Westminster Avenue last summer; and in April 2011, actor-director Jon Favreau paid slightly less than $2 million for a three-story commercial property on Abbot Kinney that he leases to a postproduction firm.
This sort of activity made the Abbot Kinney property appealing to DLJ, said Andy Rifkin, the company’s managing partner. "We really believe a lot of the young, creative and entrepreneurial companies like to be in these more creative, special kinds of environments," he said. "Clearly 901 Abbot Kinney speaks to that."
NextEngine did not respond to an email seeking comment.