In Los Angeles’ hottest office submarket, two separate groups of developers are now transforming a dead mall into one of the most ambitious redevelopment projects in the city.
GPI Companies on Monday announced plans to turn the former Macy’s department store at the Westside Pavilion mall into a 230,000-square-foot office complex.
GPI’s project is separate from the massive Hudson Pacific Properties-Macerich office conversion of a different portion of the mall property, which was announced last year. Google is leasing the entirety of that 584,000-square-foot redevelopment, now dubbed One Westside.
The Brentwood-based real estate firm purchased the Macy’s store and parking garage from Macy’s in 2017 for $50 million. GPI said it will be pumping $180 million to convert the Macy’s into modern office space, which will require a substantial redesign of the mid-century department store shape. The developer plans to cut the square space into an “H” shape to allow in more natural light and create corner spaces for ground-floor retail, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Renderings show a maze of open-air spaces, balconies, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows. GPI wants to retain some of the building’s mid-century design elements, including the distinct two-story columns lining the exterior. Floor plates at the development are 77,000 square feet, and HLW Architects was tapped to perform the design work. The firm plans to complete the project in 2021.
In a statement, managing partner Lee Wagman said the company was targeting tech, media and finance companies.
The two redevelopment projects at Westside Pavilion leave only Landmark Theatres and ground-floor retail spaces along Pico and Westwood boulevards as the last remnants of the once popular Westside Pavilion mall.
The Hudson Pacific-Macerich joint-venture and GPI will share a new 1,000-car garage; the mall’s existing 1,500-car garage, owned by GPI, will be demolished.
Large office spaces are a rarity on the Westside, L.A.’s most expensive place to rent office space. Average asking rents on the Westside clocked in at $5.14 a foot per month during the third quarter of 2019, well over the county average of about $3.71 a foot.
The Westside Pavilion announcement caps a busy year for GPI. The firm, led by Cliff Goldstein, Drew Planting and Lee Wagman, secured approvals for a 26-story apartment project at the site of Amoeba Records in Hollywood, although still has to beat a court challenge to move forward.