The Real Deal Los Angeles

LA Times building to be sold to Onni Group

The 750,000-sf Art Deco structure is valued at over $100M

June 17, 2016 10:30AM

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Tribune Media CEO Peter Liguori and the L.A. Times building at 202 West 1st Street (credit: Speakermedia, Zocalo Public Square)

Tribune Media CEO Peter Liguori and the L.A. Times building at 202 West 1st Street (credit: Speakerpedia, Zocalo Public Square)

Real estate development giant Onni Group has bought the Los Angeles Times building and may be converting it into a modern office and retail complex, the L.A. Times reported.

The sale has not yet closed and could still collapse at this point. Located near City Hall at 202 West 1st Street, the 750,000-square-foot Art Deco landmark is worth more than $100 million, according to real estate experts cited by the Times.

The building, which comprises five interconnected structures, has multiple tenants in addition to the L.A. Times. It’s often used for television and movie shoots. The Times’ lease expires in 2018.

Another investment group had begun the purchasing process earlier this year but that deal eventually fell apart, according to Tribune Media, the building’s owner. Stephen Somer of Eastdil Secured is representing the owner.

Onni, which owns at least eight other properties in Downtown L.A., would redevelop the building into a collection of offices, stores and possibly residential units.

Onni has more than a handful of DTLA projects in the works, including a residential tower near the corner of 8th and Hill Streets. In February, the Vancouver-based firm bought the Western Pacific Building at 1031 South Broadway for $56 million from seller Steve Needleman, The Real Deal previously reported.

“They are really big believers in the future of downtown,” said Justin Weiss, a senior associate with Kennedy Wilson, who was not involved in the deal.

Overall in North America, Onni manages 6.5 million square feet of commercial space and more than 4,600 apartments.

Tribune is also selling the Times’ nearby printing facility as well as 20 acres of developable land in the Arts District. [LAT]Cathaleen Chen