A century-old office tower in the Jewelry District of downtown Los Angeles has been sold to a developer who plans to turn it back into an office building.
The seven-story building at 718 S. Hill St. has been home to jewelry makers and sellers for many years, but its location is near new apartment and retail projects that are changing the nature of downtown and giving parts of it a residential flavor.
The buyers of the Hill Street property believe the Jewelry District, which is roughly bounded by Hill, Main, 3rd and 9th streets, will remain mostly commercial.
"While several downtown L.A. neighborhoods have been transformed in recent months, we are confident that the Jewelry District will continue to grow into a creative office hub for businesses," said Raffi Shirinian, a principal at UrbanBlox.
The Los Angeles development firm bought the 51,055-square-foot building for $8.54 million from ABA Legacy Partners, real estate broker Mike Condon Jr. of JLL said.
The jewelry business was hit hard by the recession and has yet to fully recover, Condon said. "There has been a steady decline in demand from jewelers in that area."
The acquisition was UrbanBlox's 12th in the last 15 months. Its portfolio includes creative, mixed-use and multifamily properties in the L.A. River area, downtown, Hollywood and Silver Lake.