All posts by singlemalt

Native Angeleno and Industrial real estate agent since 1994.

California Energy Benchmarking Law Now Active

In 2015, the State of California passed Assembly Bill 802 (AB 802) to provide building owners access to their building energy use data from utilities, and to track consumption in their buildings. AB 802 also fixed several issues related to AB 1103, the previous statute mandating benchmarking.

With some exceptions, all commercial buildings 50K s.f. and larger will have to benchmark and report to the CEC by June 1, 2018, and every year thereafter. This includes manufacturing and warehouse industrial buildings. For more info see

Los Angeles’ Creative Economy

The transformation of the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District can be directly tied to the growing economic strength of creative industries such as  the “entertainment industry as well as other artistic sectors such as fashion, digital media, architecture and the visual and performing arts.” (See recent L.A. Times article Creative Economy Is Booming.

Creative industries has driven employment, incomes, and commercial real estate values up. Many of these industries have leased former industrial buildings in the Arts District at rental rates far above what a traditional warehousing or manufacturing company would pay.

Contact us if you seek to lease or buy a warehouse in the DTLA Arts District.

City of Commerce – A Brief Development History

The City of Commerce encompasses a land area of 4,197 acres, or 6.54 square miles. Since the 1920’s, the Commerce area was developed with heavy industrial uses. Major industrial firms in the
area included three tire factories (Uniroyal, Goodyear, and Goodrich), a regional automobile assembly plant (Chrysler), and two heavy steel fabricating plants (U.S. Steel and Republic Steel). Due
to changing economics, the heavy industrial users began to close their area factories in the mid-1960s. Redevelopment of these Iarge facilities into smaller industrial projects followed.

The History of the City of Commerce traces back to the late 1700s, when the area destined to become Commerce served as an anchor station of El Camino Real (the King’s Highway), a trail blazed by Father Junipero Serra to connect the missions between San Diego and Sonoma.

Originally part of a 29,513 Acre Spanish land grant, the region was guaranteed a healthy future in 1887 when the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Co. built its main line here.

The Commerce area grew and prospered over the decades, becoming a major manufacturing hub during World War II. In 1955, when California adopted a uniform sales tax law, nearby cities attempted to annex this valuable island of county land in order to secure its thriving tax base.

But industry leaders here banded together to defeat annexation and formed the Industrial Council, which worked with residents to incorporate the City of Commerce. Approved by voters on January 28, 1960, incorporation occurred at a time when most of the City’s industrial base consisted of major multi-acre factories.

By 1970, virtually all of the land in Commerce had been developed and continued growth seemed impossible. But over the years, drastic changes in the automobile, steel, rubber, and other heavy industrial forced the closing of obsolete factories, making hundreds of acres of land available for redevelopment. Approximately 64 percent of the city’s land area is designated as industrial.

The largest real estate developer in the city was the Trammell Crow Company, who was the first firm to redevelop older heavy manufacturing facilities. Their largest project, the former U.S. Steel
plant (at the intersection of Slauson and Eastern avenues), was redeveloped with approximately l 0,000,000 square feet of new industrial space during the 1970’s. It is now known as Commerce
Pork, and is one of the largest business parks in the country. Another site redeveloped by the Trammell Crow Company is the old Uniroyal Tire and Rubber plant. Now known as the Citadel, this 35-acre site was redeveloped with a 201-room Wyndham Gorden Hotel, 233,000 square feet of industrial space, 138,000 square feet of factory outlet retail space, 146,000 square feet of office/research and development space, several restaurants, and a health club. Total project costs were reportedly $90,000,000. Craig Realty Group acquired the entire 35 acre property in July 2003.

DTLA Seafood District Refashions Itself

In the past year, the seafood district of Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) got a PR boost from some local seafood company owners and artists. Below is the vision they have set forth.

During the 1920’s, a relatively unknown, approximately twenty-acre northern section in the sprawling Los Angeles Industrial District was home to a concentrated number of businesses with names like American Fish, Holly Seafood and Central Fish & Oyster Company.  With mottos like “If it swims, we have it!”, many of these family-operated companies were owned by Japanese, Italian and Irish immigrants who specialized in commercial fishing, processing, distribution and cross-pacific imports. Their smokehouses and cold storage facilities provided to local restaurants, hotels, airports, grocery stores, and civic institutions throughout Southern California.

In the late 1970’s, economic migration pushed the greater Industrial District near the brink of urban decay. Yet, dozens of these original seafood businesses remained and continued to operate, only hidden behind secure walls and fences. Sadly, their colorful, oceanic history faded while façades and sidewalks gradually fell into various states of disrepair.

In 2017, a close group of neighbors, including a handful of the 100 year-old seafood companies still owned by the original founders’ families, has come together to reclaim our neighborhood’s lost identity as “The North Sea.” We have launched a self-funded, beautification program involving thematic murals, sidewalk landscaping, a variety of sculptural interventions, and lots and lots of elbow grease. Our mission is to restore a sense of place and community pride. We hope you enjoy our results. Please come visit us soon. [excerpted from]

Over the past 24 years, we have leased and sold many buildings for the seafood industry on DTLA streets such as Kohler, Gladys, Alameda, Ceres, Crocker, Stanford and 5th. Although the areas is encompassed by Skid Row, the merchants do their business despite all the indigents and their filth.