Los Angeles Business Journal

Honda Car Designer Heading Downtown

By Jacquelyn Ryan Friday, August 24, 2012

Honda R&D Americas Inc. is moving one of its design studios to downtown Los Angeles, only steps from L.A. Live and the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The company, a unit of America Honda Motor Co. Inc., signed a five-year deal last week for about 6,500-square-feet on the ground floor of 901 S. Flower St., a funky postmodern structure known as the Apex building. Terms of the deal with ST Residential, a subsidiary of Starwood Capital Group of Chicago, were not disclosed. Monthly rates at the building are about $4.50 a square foot, according to CoStar Group Inc.

The studio, known as the Honda Advanced Design Studio, had been at 39 N. Raymond Ave. in Pasadena, in the same amount of space, since 2006. But Honda wanted to move, in part to be near the bustling scene and Convention Center, site of the annual L.A. Auto Show.

“Honda was attracted to the unique design and architecture of the Apex building and because of its central location in downtown L.A. South Park district,” said Adam Tischer, vice president at Colliers International downtown, who represented the landlord.

Studio employees design some of the company’s most advanced cars. Among the studio’s notable recent creations is the latest version of the Acura NSX, a hybrid four-wheel-drive sports car that debuted in a Super Bowl commercial.

The Flower Street building is six stories and contains 77 residential lofts at the corner of Ninth Street. It was completed in 2010 after the original developer, Sonny Astani, lost control of the project, which includes another building.

Mark Tarczynski at Colliers also represented ST. Dan Feldman at Colliers represented Honda.

This report appears in the Aug. 27 weekly edition of the Business Journal.