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Great Western to Move Home to San Fernando Valley

October 26, 1989|JOHN MEDEARIS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Great Western Financial Corp., seeking to accommodate an expansion, will move its headquarters to a complex in the northwest San Fernando Valley and may sell its current Beverly Hills home offices, the thrift said Wednesday.

Great Western will move about 100 employees in 1992 from its Beverly Hills headquarters and other locations to a 10-story executive office building to be constructed at the new site in Chatsworth.

Great Western Financial, parent of Great Western Bank, is the nation's second-largest thrift with about $37 billion in assets.

The new headquarters could accommodate some of the 2,600 people employed at a nine-building service center adjacent to the new site, currently the largest concentration of Great Western employees. Ground-breaking is scheduled for 1990.

The company also plans to build five other buildings on the 20-acre site in Chatsworth, tentatively scheduled for completion in about 2005.

Great Western said it retained Goldman, Sachs & Co. to evaluate the possible sale of its Beverly Hills headquarters building, which has an assessed value for tax purposes of about $21 million.

But Great Western may keep the 10-story Beverly Hills building, much of which it leases to other tenants, Lynn Taylor, public relations director, said.

The company has not decided what to do with the nine buildings it occupies adjacent to the new building site in Chatsworth. Great Western owns five of those buildings in partnership and leases the other four. The company could continue to occupy some of the buildings to accommodate expansion, according to Taylor.

"It's been planned for quite some time," Taylor said.

The new buildings will also give Great Western room to accommodate expansion, Taylor said. In July, Great Western agreed to buy 63 Florida branches of a Miami-based S&L, CenTrust Bank, and plans to expand further in parts of Florida and California, according to Taylor.

The first phase of building at the site would also include an employee center with a cafeteria, conference and exercise facilities, as well as a parking garage and a child-care center. Later phases call for three six-story office buildings.

Great Western said it had zoning approval for the project from the city of Los Angeles but has yet to receive building permits.

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