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Sale of tallest building in downtown L.A. to Asian investors is done

June 19, 2013|By Roger Vincent
  • U.S. Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles is the tallest building in the West.
U.S. Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles is the tallest building in the West. (MPG Office Trust Inc. )

The $367.5-million sale of U.S. Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles, the tallest building in the West, has been completed.

Its new owners are Singapore investors Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd. The developer and landlord also owns commercial properties including, offices, shopping centers and hotels in Singapore, Malaysia and the People’s Republic of China.

The planned sale by MPG Office Trust Inc. was announced in March. MPG, which has been the largest office landlord in downtown L.A. for many years, is winding down its business and selling its assets.

In April, MPG agreed to sell its other four remaining downtown buildings to Manhattan real estate company Brookfield Office Properties Inc. for $430 million. That transaction is expected to close in the third quarter.

A month later, MPG agreed to sell its Plaza Las Fuentes office and retail complex in Pasadena to East West Bank and Downtown Properties Holdings in a $75 million deal expected to close this month.

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MPG was a powerhouse for decades but suffered a deep blow after a property acquisition spree during the last real estate boom in the mid-2000s left it deep in debt with falling revenue from rents when the mortgage crash and worldwide credit crisis hit.

At 72 stories, the circular U.S. Bank Tower has commanded the city skyline since it was completed in 1989 and is one of the best-known office buildings in the country. It was previously named Library Tower and also First Interstate World Center.

The skyscraper designed by the New York firm of star architect I.M. Pei is only 56% leased, the new owner said. The company hired respected Texas commercial developer and landlord Hines to manage the 1.4 million-square-foot building.

Overseas Union Enterprise will help prospective tenants fund remodeling and renovations, said Richard Stockton, the company’s president and chief executive of the Americas.

“With space available for lease in the building, there is an ability to generate a strong return on investment for OUE shareholders,” Stockton said. “We are confident of a continued strong economic recovery in the U.S. and the continued revitalization of downtown Los Angeles.”


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