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Key Leases Signed at Design Mart : Development Will Link May Co. and Eastern Columbia

December 15, 1985

Palace Square, a $200-million international resource design center planned for the downtown Los Angeles area now occupied by the May Co. and the Eastern Columbia buildings, announced it has signed leases with three key New York-based wholesale interior furnishings firms.

Total lease value of all commitments to date is in excess of $100 million, and transactions currently in negotiation, out for signature and reservations for space, would account for 750,000 square feet of the 1.2-million-square-foot project, according to Richard Sheldon, of Palace Development Group, joint venture partner with Double RB Associates.

The signed leases are from Decorators Walk, in excess of 20,000 square feet; Brunschwig & Fils, 7,300 square feet, and Scalamandre Silks, 5,000 square feet. They are among 71 design-related companies planning and negotiating to occupy showrooms in the development upon its expected completion next summer.

February Ground Breaking

Forty-six other potential tenants are in negotiation or proposals for another 325,000 square feet, Sheldon added.

Ground breaking for the renovation/conversion project is scheduled for Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 1986. Construction of Palace Square involves renovation of the two landmark structures to create a resource center catering to the residential and contract design industry, Sheldon said from his offices at 830 S. Hill St.

He said Decorators Walk will relocate its present showroom from 157 N. Robertson Blvd. while Scalamandre Silks and Brunschwig & Fils will move from 131 N. Robertson Blvd. and 8687 Melose Ave., respectively.

Architectural Link

The initial construction phase will include the Palace Square entry and parking structure, providing securing parking for 1,200 cars. The new building, designed by Kaplan, McLaughlin, Diaz of San Francisco and Los Angeles, "will serve as an architectural and spatial link for the venerable May Co. and Eastern Columbia buildings," Sheldon said.

In addition to a dramatic entry, he said a Palm Court restaurant is planned, along with an auditorium, banquet and meeting rooms for wholesale trade functions. Construction financing will be provided by the Bank of America.

The May Co. has already advertised its close-out sales in preparation for vacating the three floors it is occupying in the nine-story structure. The store will reopen later in Citicorp Plaza on Figueroa Street between 7th and 8th streets.

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