Buyers Seek a Home Life for Empty L.A. Tower
A long-pending $40-million sale of a ghostly skyscraper on the edge of downtown Los Angeles has been completed and the new owners plan to start converting the office building to plush condominiums in the fall.
RAD Management, TMG Partners and Forest City Enterprises Inc. said Tuesday that they had jointly purchased the 37-story tower at 1100 Wilshire Blvd. from Format Corp. of Taiwan after more than a year of negotiations.
The 255,000-square-foot tower, whose construction was finished in 1986, has never been more than 10% occupied. It has been empty for a decade, its shell an eerie reminder of the city center’s construction boom and bust.
The recent housing renaissance downtown made the unusually shaped tower a viable contender for residential use. Average prices for downtown condominiums have risen from $194 a square foot in early 2001 to $437 last quarter, said CB Richard Ellis real estate broker Mark Tarczynski, who represented both sides in the transaction with his partner David Louie.
“A lot of people are looking downtown because they want to be closer to where they work,” said Tarczynski.
The makeover could cost as much as $60 million, said David Martin, managing partner of TMG Partners, a San Francisco developer that specializes in mixed-use urban projects. Work is scheduled to be completed next summer.
Prices for the condos haven’t been set, he said, but there will be 230 to 250 units, starting at 500 square feet. The developers also are mulling over 12,000-square-foot units that would each take up an entire floor.
Plans also call for shops and a health club on the first two floors, said Kevin Ratner, senior development manager for Forest City. An outdoor swimming pool on the 17th floor would be one of the highest in the city.
Cleveland-based Forest City’s projects include the conversion of the historic Subway Terminal Building in downtown Los Angeles from offices to apartments. RAD Management is operated by Santa Monica developer Robert D’Elia, builder of the Venice Art Lofts.