Los Angeles is adding a renowned banking firm to its bustling downtown and its growing skyline will soon bear the famous, doughnut-like logo of Chase Manhattan Bank.
To establish itself more visibly in the California firmament, New York's Chase Manhattan Corp., will become the prime tenant in a $100-million, 22-story building under construction at 801 S. Grand Ave.
The tower, the first major California project of Houston-based Treptow Development Co., began constructon as Grand Financial Plaza but that name will give way to Chase Plaza when it is topped out Oct. 24. Occupany is expected in the spring.
Chase Manhattan, the nation's third largest bank, has 24 offices in California and has been attempting to expand its financial services throughout the state and in Texas and Florida.
A restraining order issued by a Florida federal court has stymied that effort through a law suit filed by Florida bankers to stem competition from major banks wishing to cross over state lines. Meanwhile, Chase Manhattan and Citicorp, parent of Citibank, are supporting legislation to establish interstate banking rights.
"Chase Plaza is new but the Chase presence in California is not," Willard Butcher, Chase Manhattan Corp. board chairman said, in a prepared statement. "Our new headquarters is more than a building; it is a symbol of our commitment to California. It is a new milestone in our long history of providing the state with a broad range of financial services."
James R. Treptow, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the national investment building firm, added:
"We are very pleased to be associated with Chase Manhattan on this project and we are honored that our first West Coast building will have a major bank as its anchor tenant. We are both, in essence, investing in the growth and revitalization which has made Los Angeles the financial center of the West."
Butcher, who moved up from the bank's presidency early this year in a major reorganizaton of its top echelon, concentrates on policy, planning and control, leaving administration of the bank to Thomas G. Labrecque as president. Butcher had assumed control earlier from David Rockefeller, former chairman. Labrecque has spent his entire banking career with Chase Manhattan.
To Hoist Logo
Civic and banking officials will attend the traditional topping-out ceremony, starting at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 24, with Mayor Tom Bradley and Councilman Gil Lindsay as participants. Symbolically, the bank's eight-sided, 30x10ft. brushed-aluminium logo will be hoisted.
Chase Manhattan is leasing about 86,000 square feet of space in the 435,000 square foot high-rise at 8th Street and Grand Avenue, adjacent to the Bullock's headquarters building, to consolidate the work of seven subsidiaries and more than 200 employees of the corporation, moving them from its present offices at 800 Wilshire Blvd., except for a Beverly Hills personal finance office. The bank would not divulge details of the 10-year lease handled by Helmsley-Spear of California Inc. but industry sources estimated its value at more than $25 million.
The bank offers a variety of services, including its well-known private and international banking; consumer and commercial lending, investment banking, discount brokerage, trust services, mortgage banking, equipment leasing and finance, real estate finance, cash management, freight payment and traveler's check marketing.
Its New York corporate headquarters, at Chase Manhattan Plaza, is the base for its total assets of more than $86 billion and a presence in 75 countries.
Chase Plaza was designed by the Los Angeles architectural firm of Gin Wong & Associates in collaboration with Gensler & Associates as architectural design consultants. The general contractor is Pankow Builders Inc. of Altadena.
The developer, Treptow Development Co., has completed major projects valued at more than $500 million in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Louisiana and Virginia.
Chase Plaza will be the first major office structure in California to use a concrete core anchoring a steel frame, according to Tom Verti, vice president of Pankow Builders. The unconventional construction technique, used extensively in other states which have less stringent earthquake code requirements, costs less, reduces construction time and produces a very structurally stable building, he said.
The building will offer its tenants the latest in technology, including an advanced communication and office automation system provided by ShareTech, a partnership affiliated with AT&T and United Technologies.
Scheduled to move into the structure are Chase Bank International, Chase Manhattan Capital Markets Corp., Chase Manhattan Government Securities Inc., Chase National Corporate Services Inc., Chase Manhattan Leasing and Chase Manhattan Treasury Corp.
The advent of Chase Manhattan's logo in the downtown skyline will give Los Angeles added world-wide banking stature, when the newcomer joins Bank of America and Citibank, all of them ranking among the nation's top five banking institutions. The two others are Manufacturers Hanover and Morgan Guaranty.
Finally, The Times has learned that New York's Manufacturers Hanover may be next in line to join the bankers' logos-in-the-sky. Although it has downtown offices, it may be taking 150,000 square feet in a projected 900,000 square foot tower at Wilshire Boulevard and Figueroa Street, on a former church site, now a parking lot.
Mitsui Fudosan owns the land, having purchased it in November, 1979, before the March, 1980 demoliltion of St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, which had lost most of its congregation to encroaching commercial development.