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Prudential to Put Landmark Century Plaza on the Block

Real estate: Holding could fetch $500 million, agents say. Insurer is diversifying into industrial, apartment properties.

May 07, 1996|From Bloomberg Business News

Prudential Insurance Co. of America has decided to sell its 2.2-million-square-foot Century Plaza Towers office in Century City, a company spokesman said Monday.

Century Plaza consists of two 44-story towers, an underground parking garage with more than 5,000 spaces and the ABC Entertainment Center complex. It could sell for as much as $500 million, area real estate agents said.

"We did a considerable amount of research and found [the complex] could command a premium price," said Rick Matthews, a Prudential spokesman.

The move is consistent with a plan set in place late last year by the Newark, N.J.-based insurance company to replace some of its holdings of office and hotel properties with industrial and apartment properties. Prudential's real estate holdings are worth about $5.5 billion.

Other high-profile properties Prudential has recently sold or put up for sale include the Prudential Center in Boston, the Smith Haven Mall on Long Island in New York and the Tycon Courthouse office complex in Vienna, Va.

The insurer and its 50% partner, Citicorp, hired real estate investment bank Eastdil Realty Inc. of New York earlier this year to study the possibility of a sale and help it market the property. The company hasn't set a deadline for the sale, Matthews said.

Century Plaza, with its twin towers, is one of the most distinctive properties in the Los Angeles area and is often used as a backdrop in motion pictures. Its tenant list includes defense contractor Teledyne Inc.

Prudential built the complex in the mid-1970s with its then-partner Century City Inc. Century City later ran into financial problems and eventually gave up its interest in Century Plaza to a group of its lenders led by Citicorp.

"The most active part of the Los Angeles market has been in West L.A., and this sale would be the most pricey transaction," said Frederick Chin, a managing director of in the Los Angeles real estate department of accounting firm E&Y Kenneth Leventhal.

Chin said recent sales in West Los Angeles have averaged between $150 and $175 a square foot. Century Plaza, given its visibility and the inclusion of the parking garage and the ABC complex, is expected to go for much more than that.

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