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Recording Academy, which awards Grammys, sells former headquarters

October 2, 2011 | 10:00 am


 The Recording Academy, the organization that hands out the music industry’s annual Grammy Awards, sold its former Santa Monica headquarters to developers.

Developer Trammell Crow Co. and investment firm Westport Capital Partners bought the unoccupied three-story office building at 3402 Pico Blvd. and two adjacent residential parcels, real estate brokerage CB Richard Ellis said.

The price was not disclosed, but Westside real estate experts familiar with the property valued the deal at more than $10 million.

Trammell Crow hasn’t decided exactly what to do with the property yet, Senior Managing Director Brad Cox said, but some kind of residential development is likely.

“It’s a great piece of real estate in Santa Monica, where you [ordinarily] can’t find two and half acres of contiguous space,” Cox said.

The 39,128-square-foot office building constructed in 1969 has been vacant since the Recording Academy moved in 2009 to larger quarters in the nearby Lantana office park, which is home to many entertainment industry businesses.

Trammell Crow may refurbish the former Recording Academy building and rent it to a single tenant while building housing alongside. Or the developer may demolish the office and a vacant 11-unit apartment house on one of the adjacent parcels to make way for a new apartment complex.

“We’re looking at a combination of possibilities,” Cox said.

Development would conform with the city’s recent general plan update, he said. The east Santa Monica neighborhood that was formerly an industrial center is in the path of planned light rail service and is gentrifying.

“It’s turning into kind of a hipster location,” Cox said.


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Photo: Former Recording Academy headquarters in Santa Monica. Credit: Christina House