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March 21, 2023
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Designworks Leases Santa Monica Creative Office Building


Designworks—the design innovation studio for the BMW Group—has signed a 10-year lease for a 16.5k sf creative office building in Santa Monica.

The building, situated on a 26k sf lot at 1601 Olympic Blvd, was converted into creative space by the owner, BLT Enterprises. It is located within walking distance of the expo line and numerous well-known media and entertainment companies.

As a global creative consultancy, Designworks brings imaginative inspiration to the BMW Group and works with clients from diverse industries to share its innovative perspectives and knowledge from the complex automotive sector. With locations in Los Angeles, Munich, and Shanghai, the firm worked with BLT to build out a new U.S. headquarters designed to reflect the smaller, highly digital footprint it needed to stay internationally connected while accommodating the hybrid office life dynamic.

BLT acquired the building in June 2019 and then implemented a complete building shell renovation and seismic upgrade. The full interior and exterior shell improvements included baring the building down to its core and constructing all new upgrades including trendy exterior facade, windows and doors, PVC roof, 1200-amp electrical service, parking lot improvements and enhanced landscaping. The interior improvements included new structural beams, restrooms facilities, kitchen and conference rooms and upgraded fire sprinkler system.

After securing the lease, Designworks’ in-house team initiated a full-scale creative conversion on the property to accommodate a high-tech design facility. With collaborative oversight from BLT’s development team, the tenant implemented various enhancements to the shell improvements including significant additions to the core, a digital viewing room with remote connectivity, group tables and individual workstations to foster teamwork and support hybrid/remote work, an upgraded kitchen, and a discrete building entrance.

Brad McCoy and David Wilson of Lee and Associates represented BLT in the transaction.

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