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Hooray for Hollywood

Hollywood Production Offices open for production staff looking for extra space or a spot closer to home.While nearly a million square feet of office space sit vacant in the city, Amidi Real Estate Group has just finished renovating a Glendale building that sat vacant for the past five years with plans to reopen it Wednesday.The Los Angles-based group, which owns the Hollywood Production Center, will reopen the building at 121 W. Lexington Drive for short-term leases by video production support staff who are crowded at their home offices or who need a place closer to home, said general manager Lucy Mardonovich.”We had an asset that wasn’t being used so we just decided to do something with it since the Hollywood office was so successful,” Mardonovich said. “We felt there would be great energy for city of Glendale to have. Disney and DreamWorks are expanding and those valley production companies need to have something nearby.”

Amidi also owns the Glendale Office Center and the Brand Jewelry Mart, she said.Dubbed the Hollywood Production Center-Glendale, offices come with furniture, high-speed Internet, phones and other amenities. They will only lease space to the creative people who work on video production, she said.”It’s an absolutely total remodel,” she said. “Every floor’s been gutted and separated into the offices. We’ve redone the garden area, and the lobbies, elevators and walls were painted just like the Hollywood Production Center.”She believes the success and reputation of the Hollywood center will spill over to the Glendale site.”We have a lot of production companies that are interested in what we’re doing now,” she said. “Our motto is: We shall remodel; they shall come.”The entertainment business in Burbank and the many entertainment people who live in the Foothill communities will help the center’s occupancy, Mardonovich said.”We would like is to tap into the Burbank overflow,” she said. “We are right off the freeway, and we have service with a smile.”Having only people in the entertainment business creates its own energy, Mardonovich said.”The vibe is one like no other,” she said.Client Sam Zoda, senior vice president of production for Granada America, said the related clientele has business advantages too.

“It’s actually a great place to network,” said Zoda whose company worked on TV shows such as “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Celebrity Fit Club” and “Nanny 911.” “It seems to be a bit of a hub, and I’m always running into people, keeping contacts fresh and bump into people who know what’s coming up. I also meet new people too.”Zoda said the center is homey, comfortable yet modern.”Lucy makes it a nice environment for everybody,” he said. “Everybody kind of calls it Lucy’s Place because we all know her.”One big advantage is the ability to rent a fully furnished office space on a month-to-month basis instead of getting tied to a long-term lease.

“It’s a turnkey facility,” Zoda said. “If you like it you can move in the next day. If you need to, she will get it all up and running. She makes it very easy for people like me to get in.”The center has ample parking, and fills a niche in Glendale, he said.”If an executive producer is someone who lives in Glendale or La Cañada and they try to find space in that area, then she just has to target those producers,” Zoda said.”There are plenty of people in the entertainment industry who live in La Cañada and Glendale who want to work close to home.”For Dave Ahern, Glendale’s economic development manager, the re-opening is a step in the right direction.”Our sense is that the market is going to continue to have strong demand,” Ahern said. “The [office] vacancy rates in other cities are very low, lease rates are climbing so there is a shortage of available office space and we have some available and its class-A space.”

By Vince Lovato