Office Space is more than the name of a cult movie to Douglas Emmett. The self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT) invests in commercial real estate in Southern California and Hawaii. It owns about 60 Class A office properties (totaling 14.7 million sq. ft.), mostly in the heart of Hollywood and surrounding areas. Its office holdings account for some 90% of its total revenues. The REIT also owns some 3,000 apartment units in tony neighborhoods of West Los Angeles and Honolulu. Douglas Emmett's portfolio includes some of the most notable addresses on the West Coast, including the famed Sherman Oaks Galleria, Burbank's Studio Plaza, and office tower 100 Wilshire.
Douglas Emmett, which targets tenants in the health care, legal, entertainment, and technology industries, operates in markets where high barriers to entry such as environmental restrictions or steep property values limit new competition. Its properties are often located in communities with high-end lifestyle amenities and a diverse economic base. The company is a relatively conservative investor, maintaining its portfolio while slowly making new acquisitions and considering new markets.
The economic recession impacted Douglas Emmett, as some tenants downsized while other defaulted on rents. As a result, the REIT lost nearly $95 million from 2007 through 2010. However, Douglas Emmett then began to see improvements in the marketplace. It also took advantage of low interest rates to refinance debt in 2010. The changes helped the company return to profitability in 2011, when it netted $1.5 million. Revenues have remained fairly stable since the recession hit; in 2011 Douglas Emmett reported a 1% gain to $575.3 million, largely due to an office property acquired in late 2010. Multifamily rents also went up that year. After restructuring its balance sheet, the REIT is poised to make further acquisitions, but it still holds a hefty level of debt (more than $3.5 billion).
Douglas Emmett has a growing presence in Honolulu, where it controls about 35% of the office market. In 2010 the REIT acquired Bishop Square, the largest office project in Hawaii. The company also plans to expand its presence in West Los Angeles.
Chairman Dan Emmett owns about 10% of the company. – less