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L. A. Soap Co. Sells 8 Acres in Little Tokyo

February 21, 1988

Los Angeles Soap Co. has sold the eight acres of downtown land that housed its 127-year-old soap-making operations to Banning Associates, a joint venture between the City Center Group of Companies and Independence Bank.

The sales price was not disclosed, but sources value the deal at about $35 million. Escrow is expected to close in May.

Malcolm Kingston, chairman of the City Center Group, said Santa Monica-based Landau Partnership has been retained to create a mixed-use complex on the site. It would contain more than 1 million square feet of commercial and retail space and housing if the project is eventually approved.

The site, at 1st and Alameda streets in Little Tokyo, has been Los Angeles Soap Co.'s home since 1874. Last December, employees of the company were informed that efforts to rescue the firm's money-losing operations had failed, and that executives were planning to sell the company's assets.

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