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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Rumor has it: Will Los Angeles Times move to Shorenstein’s Aon Center?

Newspaper said to be downsizing from Times Mirror Square to Wilshire Boulevard tower: sources

The Aon Center at 707 Wilshire Boulevard and the Times Mirror Square at 202 W. First Street

UPDATED, 9:45 a.m., July 5: Is the deadline up for the Los Angeles Times? The rumor mill sure seems to think so.

The newspaper, run by the company now known as Tronc Inc., will not renew its more than 250,000-square-foot lease at Times Mirror Square when it expires next year, several sources told The Real Deal. Instead, it will move to the Aon Center at 707 Wilshire Boulevard, where it signed a lease last month to downsize into between 100,000 and 150,000 square feet of office space, the sources said.

The rumored move could not be confirmed by anyone directly attached to the lease. In May, a source close to the lease talks told TRD that Aon was only one of several locations the news outlet was considering. Since then, sources removed from the deal, but with knowledge of the Downtown Los Angeles office market, told TRD the Times officially selected Aon, signing on the line in early June.

JLL’s Josh Wrobel, Tim Miller, and Dana Vargas are the leasing brokers for Aon’s landlord, Shorenstein Properties.

 

The Times currently occupies eight of the ten stories in its eponymous building. A source familiar with the property said the paper had two options for five-year renewals, technically, but has been considering relocation for a while.

Vancouver-based Onni Group acquired the Times Mirror building, as well as an adjoining structure built in 1948, for $105 million from the Tribune Media Company’s real estate arm last September. The following December, the developer filed plans to build a 1,127-unit, two-tower complex on the site. To make space for the new buildings, two structures on the western side of the site would be demolished, according to city documents.

Rendering of Onni’s project (Credit: LA City)

Both Shorenstein and the L.A. Times denied the rumors.

“The Los Angeles Times remains under lease at Onni Times Square until June 2018 with options to continue beyond that date. We have not signed a new lease. We are currently researching our options for the future, which include remaining in the building or selecting a new location,” said Hillary Manning, a Times representative, in an email statement.

“No lease has been signed,” a Shorenstein spokesperson said.

Built in 1973, the glassy 62-story Aon Center is quite the contrast from the current Los Angeles Times building. Designed by Architect Gordon Kaufmann, the latter opened in 1935 and showcases L.A.’s signature Art Deco and midcentury modern style.

Shorenstein acquired the Aon Center for $268.5 million in October 2014, according to CoStar. Without the lease factored in, it is roughly 75 percent occupied.

Onni could be reached for comment.

This story has been updated with statements from Shorenstein and the Los Angeles Times