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Hertz Group Pays $4.5 Million for Historic Standard Oil Building

April 30, 1999|JESUS SANCHEZ | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Hertz Investment Group said Thursday that it has acquired the venerable Standard Oil Building in downtown Los Angeles for $4.5 million as part of its effort to expand its portfolio of historic structures.

The new owners, seeking to capitalize on the upcoming opening of nearby Staples Center, say the ground floor of the 73-year-old building will become a steakhouse and bar, catering to visitors attending sports and entertainment events.

Staples "was a motivational factor for us," said Deborah Lee, associate director at Hertz, which also owns the Oviatt Building downtown and the Wiltern Building on Wilshire Boulevard.

Los Angeles-based Hertz purchased the 100,000-square-foot building from a Japanese nonprofit education company, Tanioka Gakuen, according to broker John E. Alle. The nine-story structure at the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Hope Street is 96% leased. Standard Oil once kept its regional headquarters there but moved out more than 30 years ago.

The owners of Cicada, a posh restaurant in the Oviatt Building, said they will open the Tuscany Steakhouse Restaurant by the end of the year. "It's beautiful because it's going to be close to Staples Center," Cicada General Manager Adelmo Zarif said.

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