Your boss wants you back in the office despite COVID. Here's why

Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Business News

Moving the needle were big leases by entertainment firms such as video game developer Riot Games and television streaming provider Roku Inc. Many favor Westside neighborhoods or the South Bay, where the Los Angeles Chargers agreed to rent a new headquarters built to their specifications in El Segundo.

Western Los Angeles County, including Culver City, also pulls tech firms, especially those involved in entertainment content creation such as Apple and Amazon.

Google has agreed to lease most of the former Westside Pavilion indoor shopping center, which is being converted to offices by two different developers, one of which is Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. The former mid-century Macy's building there is being turned into an office complex called West End and owner GPI Cos. is seeking tenants.

Other new big office projects, including Brookfield's California Market Center, are helping keep average vacancy in the Los Angeles area high, CBRE said. Brookfield announced this week that sportswear manufacturer Adidas agreed to occupy the top floors of two interconnected buildings at the center, a massive former showroom complex in downtown L.A.'s Fashion District that Brookfield has spent more than $250 million to turn into offices for rent.


After sputtering in the first half of the year when many tenants were reluctant to make commitments, leasing in Brookfield's buildings finished so strong that the totals came near the level of a typical pre-pandemic year, Barganski said.

"I think companies found that they were performing financially better than they thought they would," he said.

Office landlords have remained determined to keep their rental rates up throughout the pandemic. Asking rates in Los Angeles County increased to $3.92 per square foot per month in the fourth quarter, up from $3.88 in the previous quarter and $3.74 in the same period a year ago.

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