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California

Global Offices for Sale

Real estate: Telecom firm's former Beverly Hills headquarters is on the market in the wake of bankruptcy filing.

September 18, 2002|JESUS SANCHEZ | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The posh corporate compound in the heart of Beverly Hills that once served as the headquarters for Global Crossing Ltd. and Chairman Gary Winnick has been put up for sale or lease in the wake of the telecommunication company's filing for bankruptcy protection this year.

No sales price or leasing rates have been established for the 2.5-acre property on Santa Monica Boulevard and North Crescent Drive. But real estate brokers said the former Global Crossing Plaza--renamed North Crescent Plaza--will probably be sold, and is expected to easily fetch far in excess of the about $50 million Winnick spent on purchasing and renovating the historic property.

"It's not for the faint of heart," commercial real estate broker Robert Chavez said. "It's going to be expensive even in this down market."

The property includes two buildings totaling about 124,000 square feet, a parking structure, lush gardens, reflecting pools and fountains. The complex dates to the late 1930s when entertainment industry mogul Lew Wasserman hired architect Paul Williams to design a building for his company, Music Corp. of America (MCA).

Williams designed a second building in the early 1960s when the complex served as headquarters for electronics company Litton Industries.

Winnick bought the property for $41.5 million in 1998 through a partnership known as North Crescent Realty V, and it housed the headquarters of Global Crossing, Asia Global Crossing, and Winnick's Pacific Capital Group and Colony Capital investment companies.

An additional $7.5 million was spent on an elaborate restoration of the property.

The property is vacant after having as many as 250 employees during Global Crossing's peak.

It was put on the market after several unsolicited offers were made, real estate broker Martin Morgenstern of Cushman & Wakefield said.

Proposals for the property have included transforming it into a luxury hotel, a talent agency, entertainment industry offices or a medical center, area brokers said.

Staff writer Elizabeth Douglass contributed to this report.

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