Developer Robert Maguire, known for Downtown LA towers, dies at 86

Prolific builder put up U.S. Bank Tower, other prominent office projects

Robert F. Maguire III (Getty)
Robert F. Maguire III (Getty)

Prolific Los Angeles developer Robert F. Maguire III died Tuesday at his home in Studio City.

Maguire was 86 and died of complications from pneumonia, according to the L.A. Times.

His most prominent project was the U.S. Bank Tower, the tallest building in L.A. from 1986 to 2010. The 73-story Downtown tower sold to Silverstein Properties last July for $430 million.

Maguire was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1935 and relocated to L.A. to study at UCLA, where he graduated in 1960. He got his feet wet in real estate at Security Pacific National Bank and started his own firm in 1965.

His company first developed residential and industrial projects and broke into the office business with Century City’s Northrop Building in 1968.

Maguire’s career went into overdrive in the early 1980s when he formed Maguire Thomas Partners with Jim Thomas. It would become one of the nation’s largest office developers with projects in Southern California, Philadelphia, Dallas and elsewhere.

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The firm was integral to the resurgence of Downtown L.A.’s Bunker Hill neighborhood as a commercial center, which the city had pushed for since the 1950s.

The developer completed the two-tower, 2.5-million-square-foot Wells Fargo Center in 1983 and seven years later completed the U.S. Bank Tower. In 1991, the firm completed the Gas Company Tower.

The development of those buildings was made possible by the purchase of air rights from the Central Library, which was badly damaged in a fire and set for demolition. The $125 million deal helped preserve and restore the property.

In 2008 Maguire left the company, which was acquired by Brookfield in 2013. He continued to develop properties however, including the Water’s Edge campus in Playa Vista.

[LAT] — Dennis Lynch