Chris Rising on Tech Impact on Tenants and Why the Western Market Rules

By Alison Stateman | Commercial Observer

Photo credit: Sean Moore for Commercial Observer

Photo credit: Sean Moore for Commercial Observer

Chris Rising, 49, has witnessed the evolution of the office market firsthand.

As a former lawyer and assistant to brokerage legend John C. Cushman, before co-founding Rising Realty Partners with his father Nelson Rising, a noted developer of the U.S. Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles, among other properties, he has watched as technology radically impacted office space and design. Since 2011, Rising Realty has played a major role in shaping development in downtown Los Angeles.

The firm is well known for buying the historic PacMutual center for $60 million in 2012, renovating the Beaux-Arts-style building at 6th Street and Olive Street from what TheLos Angeles Times described as a “lower-rent alternative for conventional white-collar firms into a preferred address for business in creative fields.” Rising turned more than a tidy profit on the asset, selling it for a reported $200 million to Ivanhoe Cambridge, and Callahan Capital Properties in 2015. Last year, Rising Realty joined with Colony NorthStar to purchase One California Plaza for $460 million.

Rising spoke to Commercial Observer about tenant demands, what inspired him to start the firm’s first fund and what he really thinks about Elon Musk’s tunnel projects as a solution to L.A.’s traffic woes.