C&W; to Relocate Its Downtown L.A. Office

Real estate services giant Cushman & Wakefield has agreed to move its downtown Los Angeles office late this year to one of the district's newest skyscrapers, the former Sanwa Bank Plaza at Wilshire Boulevard and Figueroa Street.

The move was prompted by C&W;'s recent acquisition of rival Cushman Realty Corp., which has had its headquarters at 601 S. Figueroa St. since the 52-story high-rise opened in 1990. The combined operation may become California's biggest commercial brokerage office, with more than 50 licensed brokers and 150 employees, said Brad Cox, who will head the office.

Some former Cushman Realty staff will relocate temporarily within the building as Houston-based owner Hines builds out offices on floors 47, 48 and 49. The offices will total about 55,000 square feet.

Cushman & Wakefield will move from the struggling Arco Plaza complex on Flower Street. C&W;, partly owned by Rockefeller family interests and Japan's Mitsubishi Estate Co., was part of the original development group that built Arco Plaza in the early 1970s.

Arco Plaza's owner, Japan's Shuwa Investments Corp., earlier this year hired Cushman & Wakefield to lease empty offices at the twin 52-story towers. The company's lease there expires late this year, while the former Cushman Realty headquarters had recently renewed its lease for 10 years at the former Sanwa tower

Colin Shepherd and Alan Polley of Hines negotiated the expansion deal with a team of C&W; and former Cushman executives. Hines is looking to sell as much as a 49% stake in the Figueroa Street tower or refinance it. Hines oversaw the building's development and then bought the building from Japanese owner Mitsui Fudosan USA two years ago for a reported $215 million. A recent appraisal valued the property at about $275 million.

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