Clarion Partners, a New York-based real estate firm, is partnering with Dallas-based Lincoln Property Company to convert a former Santa Monica factory into creative offices.
The property, located at the northwest corner of Olympic Boulevard and 26th Street, is developed with a two-story structure which once served as a manufacturing facility for the Papermate Company. The adaptive reuse project, fittingly named the Pen Factory, will include 222,000 square feet of offices and a 700-car parking lot when completed in 2017.
Designed by global architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the Pen Factory's facade will hint at the property's history through a series of "colorful striations," which evoke pen lines. Like many creative office developments, plans call for an open floor plan supplemented by landscaped exterior spaces. A courtyard entrance is being cut through the center of the building, and the addition of windows and skylights will allow for natural light and fresh air to flood the interior.
The approximately seven-acre site is located directly across the street from the Expo Line's 26th Street/Bergamot Station, which is scheduled to open next month. The presence of the light rail station had previously spurred an ambitious proposal for the Papermate site from the global real estate firm Hines Interests, which intended to build offices, apartments and pedestrian-oriented retail space on the property. However, after anti-growth activists began a push for a voter initiative to halt the proposed Bergamot Transit Village, the Santa Monica City Council acquiesced to their wishes by withdrawing its support for the development. Unable to move forward, the Houston-based developer opted to sell the property.