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Rising Realty buys historic Los Angeles office complex

April 15, 2012|By Roger Vincent
  • The PacMutual office complex in Los Angeles.
The PacMutual office complex in Los Angeles. (Rising Realty Partners )

Former executives of office landlord MGP Office Trust have launched their own property company with the purchase of a landmark Los Angeles office building.

Nelson and Christopher Rising of Rising Realty Partners expect their acquisition of Pacific Center at Sixth and Olive streets to close Monday. Terms of the purchase from Alliance Commercial Partners were not revealed, but experts familiar with downtown real estate prices value the deal at $60 million.

The new owners will change the name of the complex to the PacMutual Building, in keeping with the origins of the Beaux Arts style complex that can be traced to railroad tycoons Charles Crocker, Leland Stanford and Mark Hopkins. In 1868, the men founded Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Co., the first life insurance company west of the Mississippi.

Pacific Mutual’s San Francisco headquarters building was dynamited in 1906 to help stop the spread of the fire after the city’s great earthquake that year. Administrators hurriedly built a new headquarters in Los Angeles that opened in 1908. Major additions followed in years through 1936, including one of the city’s first underground garages in 1926.

The 440,000-square-foot complex is 68% leased, said Christopher Rising, president of Los Angeles-based Rising Realty. His father, Nelson Rising, is chairman of the company and Reed Garwood is executive vice president.

Rising Realty wants to buy West Coast office buildings that can rise in value after they are improved, the Risings said. At PacMutual, the company will work to find tenants for the interior retail spaces and may add sidewalk seating at street-facing restaurants, including the Water Grill.

They may remove the drywall, dropped ceilings and carpet in some offices to reveal brick walls, sealed windows and concrete floors. Tenants may choose between such “creative” style offices and the more traditional ones that exist now.

The Risings hope to attract a mix of corporate and creative clients while restoring historic features of the complex.

“We really want to make American Business Bank feels as much a part of this building as any new tech tenants,”  Christopher Rising said.  

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