Fashion Retailer Johnny Was Signs 31K-SF Lease in DTLA

Space will serve as showroom for customers and new office headquarters

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Clothing and accessory retailer Johnny Was has signed a 31,153-square-foot lease for its new headquarters at an office owned by Atlas Capital in Downtown Los Angeles.

The fashion designer will take over the sixth and seventh floors at the low-rise office located at 712 South Olive Street. The property at the corner of Seventh and Olive streets is one block from both Pershing Square as well as the Historic Core district of Downtown L.A.

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The space will serve as a showroom for customers and as a new office headquarters, according to Cushman & Wakefield, which brokered the deal. The lease also features exclusive access to a rooftop penthouse jewel box with private decks.

“The Historic Core and Arts District are seeing multiple fashion tenants circling for creative office space due to their adjacency to industrial submarkets,” said Brittany Winn, a director at Cushman & Wakefield. “These tenants are electing to move their headquarters operations out of warehouse facilities and into something creative, taking employee wellness into consideration.”

Atlas did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Downtown has expanded greatly the past decade due in part to a nation-leading apartment boom. A recent study by RENTCafe found that Downtown L.A. added more than 10,100 multifamily units over the past four years, which is more than any major neighborhood in the country. And new developments underway will soon add thousands of additional units in the next couple of years, including Related CompaniesThe Grand and Onni Group’s 1.5 million-square-foot Times Mirror Square project.

However, the office market Downtown has lagged significantly behind the rest of the region. The submarket is routinely near the top of the list in terms of office vacancy in L.A. County, with nearly 30 percent of Downtown’s office space available for lease or sublease after the third quarter this year. 

Meanwhile, Atlas recently jumped into L.A.’s studio development scene when it announced plans to redevelop a former L.A. Times printing plant into a $650 million production lot with 17 soundstages and 212,300 square feet of offices. Atlas also owns Row DTLA — which it is redeveloping into offices, restaurants and retail near the Times printing plant — as well as a creative office campus in El Segundo.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Pete Collins, Brittany Winn, Mike Condon Jr., Scott Menkus and McKenna Gaskill represented Atlas at 712 South Olive Street. Trent Merrill and Sarah Schutter of Triple R Group represented Johnny Was.

Gregory Cornfield can be reached at gcornfield@commercialobserver.com.