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Downtown area west of Harbor Freeway has been drawing a growing number of developers and businesses, in part because streets are less congested, rents are lower. : New High-Rise : Accounting Firm to Take Half of Office Space in $125-Million, 33-Story Building

May 01, 1988

Plans have been unveiled for the $125-million Coopers & Lybrand Plaza, a 33-story office tower to be built just west of the Harbor Freeway in downtown Los Angeles.

Coopers & Lybrand, a major accounting firm, has signed a 15-year lease for about 200,000 square feet of prime office space in the complex. An industry source valued the lease at about $100 million, believed to be the largest downtown lease signed this year.

The development will have 400,000 square feet of office space, about 400,000 square feet of parking and about 20,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, according to Rick Platt, vice president of the developer, the Platt Corp. of Los Angeles.

Platt said construction should begin by the end of next year, with completion set for late 1991.

The building was designed by Helmut Jahn of Chicago. It will be built on Beaudry Avenue between 6th Street and Wilshire Boulevard.

The wedge-shaped structure will be sheathed in white granite. The side overlooking the Harbor Freeway will have 30 stories and terraces every fourth floor.

A mammoth stairway paralleling the freeway will run alongside the building's east side, encouraging pedestrian access between Wilshire and 6th Street.

A curving corner tower rising 33 stories will be built at the northern end of the complex, at Beaudry near 6th. At the southern end, a "super column" will reinforce the building's design and create the terraces.

The first 11 stories in the complex will be used for retailing and parking. Those above will be occupied by Coopers & Lybrand and other office tenants.

Platt said his firm has also purchased Coopers & Lybrand's current headquarters building at 1000 W. 6th St., near the new development. The existing building will be demolished and the site transformed into a landscaped plaza for the public.

Albert A. Thiess Jr., managing partner of Coopers & Lybrand's Los Angeles office, said the new building will provide his firm with a higher downtown profile.

The downtown area west of the Harbor Freeway has been drawing a growing number of developers and businesses, in part because streets in the area aren't as congested as those east of the freeway, and rents are generally lower.

The developer's disclosure of its plans to build the new high-rise capped a busy week for Platt Corp. Last Thursday, the company officially opened The Tower, a 23-story office building the firm built at Wilshire and Midvale Avenue in Westwood.

The Westwood complex was also designed by architect Jahn.

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