Advertisement

SOUTHLAND BUSINESS

New General Tel Home

November 17, 1985|BRUCE KEPPEL

The state's second-largest telephone company, General Telephone Co. of California, has tiptoed out of its landmark headquarters building at the foot of Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica and has all but settled into its new base of operations in Thousand Oaks.

The new headquarters, which roughly resembles a boomerang embedded in a hillside, has become something of a landmark of its own during the three years since Prudential Insurance Co. built it for its own use, then promptly moved out in a corporate reorganization move. Reposing on an 85-acre site just off the Ventura Freeway, the three-story structure is almost a horizontal version of the 21-story tower General Telephone expects to sell by early next year.

"Already it has lived up to its promise," spokesman Tom Leweck said of the new headquarters. In its 425,000 square feet are housed 1,665 of the 2,500 headquarters and support personnel ultimately destined to work in the atrium-lit premises. They formerly worked in 14 buildings scattered around the West Side, Leweck noted.

"It's a lot easier to communicate," he said. "People who used to be 20 blocks away are now 20 seconds away. And that's only a little exaggeration."

Besides consolidating operations, the new facility--soon to be joined by a second building--occupies land in an area where housing is relatively plentiful and, by Santa Monica standards, affordable. "This makes it more attractive for our present and future employees," Leweck said, many of whom resisted headquarters assignments because of housing costs or the threat of a long commute.

The company reportedly put its 100 Wilshire building on the market at $50 million and has attracted more than 30 bids, although negotiations continue. While General declines to talk figures, because of sales negotiations, Leweck did acknowledge that the company, which had leased the Santa Monica tower since its construction in 1971, exercised a longstanding option to buy at a price guaranteed about a decade ago. It is also selling a six-story office building at 2020 Santa Monica Blvd.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|