Suspense over whether the Gas Co. Tower in downtown Los Angeles will remain the headquarters of Southern California Gas Co. is over: The big utility is staying put in its signature tower for the next 15 years.
Real estate industry analysts had been watching to see whether the gas company would bail out on troubled landlord MPG Office Trust Inc., formerly Maguire Properties Inc., and move its offices elsewhere.
Southern California Gas said Wednesday that it would keep its more than 1,300 employees in 350,000 square feet in the building at 555 W. Fifth St., where it has been the anchor tenant since the tower was completed in 1991. The 50-story skyscraper was designed by Pasadena architect Richard Keating with the gas company in mind — its tapered blue-glass crown is intended to evoke the image of a gas flame.
Terms of the agreement weren't released, but MPG's average asking rent rate in the tower is almost $38 a square foot per year, according to real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield. For such a large space, however, the gas company will presumably pay a lower rate.