Leases  ·  Retail

Hackman Nabs Restaurateur Dean McKillen for New Culver City Fine Dining Spot

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Restaurateur Dean McKillen, who’s behind popular West Hollywood spots Laurel Hardware and Ysabel, is bringing his next venue to the Culver Steps development that houses Amazon Studios in downtown Culver City, Calif.

The new spot, called Laurel Grill, will occupy more than 7,500 square feet on the second floor, which includes another 2,500 square feet of outdoor space at Hackman Capital Partners’ 122,000-square-foot mixed-use development, adjacent to Amazon’s Culver Studios production lot. Kennedy Wilson Brokerage, a division of Kennedy-Wilson Properties, said the new restaurant was expected to open in the fall. 

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McKillen could not be reached for comment. Kennedy Wilson Brokerage declined to share the asking rent. Past marketing materials for Culver Steps at 9300 Culver Boulevard show the restaurant space was available at $4.50 per square foot per month. That rate would put the value of a five-year deal at more than $2 million.

The name Culver Steps comes from the grand staircase that connects an elevated pavilion, which will now soon lead to Laurel Grill. The restaurant is expected to serve American fare with liquor service and will offer a fine dining experience with daytime operation and dinner open late, similar to Laurel Hardware. 

“They’re going to create their own mark in the neighborhood,” Kennedy Wilson’s Lee Shapiro told Commercial Observer.

Kennedy Wilson has worked on the property with HCP for seven years, and Shapiro said the landlord entertained about 10 qualified offers from dining tenants for the second-floor restaurant space over the past few years. It took its time in finding the right  match for its hometown of Culver City as well as for the merchandising of the ground-floor retail and restaurant spaces.

Culver Steps is fully leased, including 80,000 square feet of office for Amazon Studios and a ground-floor retail center anchored by celebrity-favorite supermarket Erewhon, which opened in March. The surrounding submarket has been one of the strongest for creative office and retail the past five years, thanks largely to a new Metro stop, and other large commercial developments Ivy Station and the Platform.

“There was great thoughtfulness to the type of tenant the owner would like to have for the overall community, with the growing residential population, and the daytime population from all the new jobs that are coming from Amazon and Apple and HBO and others,” Shapiro said. 

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