1st Century Bank, Ford Lease at Watt Plaza

LOS ANGELES—Two companies, 1st Century Bank and Ford Motor Co., have signed lease deals for a total of 22,600-sq.ft. at the 23-story Watt Plaza here.

The leasing team renewed a contract with 1st Century Bank for approximately 19,500 total sq. ft. in Watt Plaza’s North tower. The Ford Global Brand Entertainment division took the rest of the space on the second floor of the South tower.

With the bank lease, the terms were extended for three different spaces: the bank branch and private banking center on the first floor, along with office space for the bank’s corporate headquarters on the 14th floor. The leases represent a total consideration of almost $7 million and will expire concurrently in 2024. The tenant, which has been located at Watt Plaza since opening in 2004, was not represented by a real estate broker in the transaction.

The Ford division, previously located in Beverly Hills, is tasked with creating closer ties with the entertainment industry, which includes placing Ford vehicles in high-profile television and movie projects. The new five-year lease deal was negotiated by brokers Marty Barkan and Matthew Perlmutter with CBRE.

The lease with Ford was the result of a recently launched speculative suite program at the building that enabled the company to move into the space immediately. Last year, the leasing team demolished the entire vacant second floor and built out two 3,000 square-foot spec suites that feature stone flooring in the reception areas, built-in reception desks and glass conference rooms.

Kathy McKay, vice president of leasing at the building, said the company will deliver two additional spec suites by this spring. “We are seeing many tenants who prefer the turn-key experience and appreciate the ability to move into new space immediately, which explains the success of the spec suite program we launched in 2012,” she said in a statement. McKay and Jamie Bergantz, director of leasing, represented the building in the transactions.

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