A century-old, red-brick office complex in Venice that once housed the business of legendary furniture designers Charles and Ray Eames has been sold to New York investors who plan to improve the property.
The husband-and-wife Eames duo were among the most famous designers of the 20th century, creating popular modernist pieces, including a curvy leather-and-plywood lounger, that were widely embraced in the decades after World War II and are still sold today.
DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners bought 901 Abbot Kinney Blvd. from Nextengine Ventures for $13 million, according to sale documents.
The new owners will do some minor restoration of the 14,275-square-foot building and work to find additional tenants, said Andy Rifkin, managing partner of DLJ. It has been used lately by post-production and special-effects businesses.
Venice offices are attracting technology firms including Google as well as “fashion and design types,” Rifkin said.
Charles and Ray Eames took over the front three rooms of the former Bay Cities Garage in 1943, when the 901 address was still part of Washington Boulevard. Eames products were also manufactured there until the 1950s.
The Eames office was at its peak from the early 1950s until Charles’ death in 1978, though the Eames firm remained in the building for another decade.
DLJ’s acquisition is part of the company’s strategy to buy and restore vintage properties, Rifkin said. The company bought the historic Taft Building at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in December and is working on a $15-million retrofit of the office tower completed in 1923.
It is also developing a shopping-and-apartment complex with 1,000 units called Blvd 6200 near Hollywood and Vine with Clarett West Development.