Farmers Insurance, the largest insurer based in Los Angeles, and CIM Group announced on Monday that they have entered into a sale and partial lease-back of the 10-acre Wilshire Boulevard campus. For Farmers, the sale of its current Home Office complex on the Park Mile marks the next phase of its transition to a new company headquarters at Warner Center in Woodland Hills. In conjunction with the sale, Farmers executed a lease agreement to maintain a significant presence on Wilshire Boulevard as its transition plan continues.
Farmers Insurance is one of the largest insurance companies in the world. They were founded in Los Angeles in 1928 and moved to the Wilshire location along the Park Mile in the 1930s.
CIM Group identified the nearby Wilshire Corridor/Park Mile area as an area that meets the firm’s strategic investment guidelines. According to CIM, the four full city block Wilshire Boulevard campus – bounded by Keniston Avenue to the west and Muirfield Road to the east – is close to numerous CIM office, retail, studio, hotel and multi-family residential investments in other parts of LA that the group invests in, such as Hollywood, West Hollywood, Koreatown, Midtown and Downtown Los Angeles.
The area of Wilshire that this piece of property is located on, known as ‘The Park Mile’, has strict zoning conditions that are designed to maintain the look and feel of the area. The conditions were agreed to in 1987 under the Park Mile Specific Plan Ordinance.
Excerpt from the Park Mile Plan:
WHEREAS, the Wilshire District Plan provides for the development of a Specific Plan for the Park Mile for the purpose of designating quantitative and qualitative standards to regulate floor area ratios, use of land and buildings, height and bulk of buildings, architectural and landscape treatment, signs, vehicular and pedestrian circulation; and
WHEREAS, the purpose of the Park Mile Specific Plan is to protect the low density, single-family residential nature of the area and to promote only that development which is compatible with adjoining residential neighborhoods by reinforcing the characteristics pattern which provides the Park Mile area with an image , a sense of community and orientation;
and WHEREAS, the District Plan provides that the Specific Plan is to promote a park-like setting, providing significant visual contrast with adjoining Wilshire and Miracle Mile Centers, by emphasizing new development that would complement the existing pattern of the Wilshire District; and
WHEREAS, Wilshire Boulevard is a designated Scenic Highway; WHEREAS, in order to insure that such development proceeds in compliance with the Wilshire District Plan, the Park Mile Specific Plan was adopted…
It will be interesting to see how CIM plans to improve the property and work within the limitations set forth by this Park Mile Plan.