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Pacific Center in Downtown L.A. Is Sold for $65 Million

January 30, 2006|Roger Vincent | Times Staff Writer

Pacific Center, a downtown Los Angeles office complex overlooking Pershing Square that dates to 1908, has been purchased for $65 million by a Denver real estate investor, the broker representing the seller said Friday.

Alliance Commercial Partners bought the 415,000-square-foot property at 523 W. 6th St. from Holualoa Cos. Santa Monica-based Holualoa bought the three-building complex in 2003 for about $40 million.

"It's considered one of the best historical buildings downtown because of its architecture, large size and abundant parking," said real estate broker Richard Plummer of Cushman & Wakefield, who represented the seller.

The complex, which includes the Water Grill restaurant on the ground floor, is about 75% leased, Plummer said.

The complex is among the oldest functioning office structures in the city. Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Co. completed a five-story building at 6th and Olive streets in 1908 that The Times compared to "a polished opal," with its white glazed terra cotta exterior.

The insurance company expanded its headquarters during a post-World War I building boom in Los Angeles. In 1921 an addition with two 12-story towers was attached on the west side of the original building. The builders said they required the largest single order for terra cotta ever placed on the Pacific Coast to finish the exterior.

The lobbies and hallways were swathed in marble from Italy and Alabama -- more marble than in any other building of its kind in the country, according to the builder. Tiffany Studios, the famous New York design firm, supervised decoration of the public spaces, including a recreation room for 1,000 people. A three-story cafeteria was added in 1926.

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