Jerde architecture firm will quit congested Venice for downtown Los Angeles

By Roger Vincent | LA times

The Jerde Partnership, one of Los Angeles’ best-known architecture firms, will move its headquarters from the Venice boardwalk to downtown as rising rents and traffic congestion speed its departure from the Westside.

Jerde has had offices on the offbeat beachside pedestrian pathway for three decades, but its lease was about to expire and the search for another area office was daunting.

“The Westside has gotten so expensive and the traffic is just horrible,” said Paul Martinkovic, chief financial officer. “Rents have just skyrocketed.”

Martinkovic did not disclose Jerde’s rent, but a recent report by real estate brokerage CBRE Group Inc. showed average asking rent on the Westside was nearly $5 per square foot per month compared with $3.47 a foot downtown. Average rent in Santa Monica has topped $6 a foot.

In recent years, Venice in particular has become congested due to the growth of Snap Inc., the parent of popular social-media app Snapchat.

Jerde will move in February to the former headquarters of Southern California Edison Co., a 13-story, Art Deco-style landmark completed on Bunker Hill in 1931 now known as the CalEdison Building.

“We liked the architectural style and historic elements of the building,” Martinkovic said. “It fit our brand as who we are as creators.”