72andSunny Takes 58,000 SF at Howard Hughes' old Aircraft Headquarters in Playa

Playa Vista's Hercules Campus finally snags its large heavyweight tenant for aviation mogul Howard Hughes' old office, design and advertising agency 72andSunny. Playa Vista has been on the rise as a desired market and has already attracted heavyweights such as Facebook, Fox, YouTube, ICANN, CPK and Belkin. The 2009 completion of state-of-the-art and LEED certified buildings was the start, and the Hercules campus is the creative building alternative. Tenants are also attracted by the scenic landscape with great bike and hiking trails close to the beach. Further, Runway is a massive project expected in the next few years that will provide the area with much-needed amenities such as shopping, good food, a movie theater, housing, etc.

As Silicon Beach continues to expand, markets such as Playa Vista (Marina Del Rey, Culver City, and even Downtown LA eventually as well) will benefit and attract more top tenants, helping the markets develop as a whole. These markets provide phenomenal opportunities for growing companies to find the right space at a huge discount, compared with Santa Monica and Venice.


After decades of silence and neglect, the renovated former office of aviation mogul Howard Hughes in Playa Vista will finally have a new occupant: design and advertising agency 72andSunny.

The company has agreed to rent 58,000 square feet of space in two buildings that were once part of Hughes Aircraft Co.'s headquarters and include the Mahogany Row offices that were home to top executives, including the brilliant but mercurial inventor and airman.

Who will occupy the corner suite where Hughes himself held sway?

"We decided that ghost was too good to be kept to any one person alone," said John Boiler, chief executive of 72andSunny.

Mahogany Row will be restored to its original specifications and used for conference rooms and other common areas open to employees and visitors, he said. Most of the two-story steel structure built in 1950 will be converted to open-space offices intended to enhance collaboration.

The move is an expansion for 72andSunny, which now occupies about 30,000 square feet in Westchester, Boiler said. The company will grow to as many as 300 employees from 250.

72andSunny will also occupy part of another structure built of wood during World War II, when metal was in short supply. It housed engineers working on Hughes' famous massive seaplane named Hercules but better known as the Spruce Goose. The ad agency will build a two-story theater inside.

Los Angeles landlord Ratkovich Co. expects to spend as much as $90 million to buy, restore and improve the old Hughes property it calls the Hercules Campus. Many of its 11 historic buildings have seen little use since the 1980s, though the enormous hangar where the Spruce Goose was assembled has served as a popular sound stage for film and television production.

Financial terms of 72andSunny's 12-year lease were not disclosed, but Ratkovich Co. President Wayne Ratkovich said this year that he was asking for as much as $3 a square foot per month in rent. Internet video site YouTube and marketing agency Earthbound Media Group have also agreed to set up offices in the Hercules Campus.

72andSunny plans to move in March, Boiler said.

*Shared By Ted Simpson, Scott Steuber & Jeff Vertun

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