Coretrust leases 44K sf of offices to law firms in DTLA

Deals spread over three floors of remodeled tower at 444 S. Flower

Coretrust Capital Partners' Thomas Ricci, Randall Scott and John Sischo; 444 S. Flower Street, Los Angeles (444 South Flower, iStock, Coretrust Capital Partners)
Coretrust Capital Partners' Thomas Ricci, Randall Scott and John Sischo; 444 S. Flower Street, Los Angeles (444 South Flower, iStock, Coretrust Capital Partners)

Three law firms have struck deals to move into three floors of an office tower in Downtown Los Angeles, a bright spot in L.A.’s tepid office market.

Dykema Gossett, Grant Thornton and Esquire Depositions Solutions have signed long-term leases to take up 43,850 square feet at 444 S. Flower St. in Bunker Hill, the Commercial Observer reported. Terms of the leases were not disclosed.

Coretrust Capital Partners, an office investment firm based Downtown, owns the 48-story tower known as FourFortyFour South Flower. They bought the 915,000-square-foot building, once known as Citigroup Center, from Houston-based Hines in 2016 for $336 million.

Online marketing materials show asking rent is $30 per square foot per year, the Observer reported. That would put the combined value of the three leases at more than $1.3 million per year.

Dykema Gossett, a 94-year-old business law firm based in Detroit, leased the entire 22nd floor of 21,750 square feet for 12 years. Its Los Angeles office, now at 333 South Grand Ave., will move in December.

Grant Thornton, a 98-year-old audit, tax and advisory law firm based in Chicago, leased the entire 31st floor of 18,500 square feet for 11 years. Its L.A. office, now at 515 Flower St., will move in September.

“Our firm’s hybrid work model means that when our people want to collaborate and engage with one another, they need to do so in a safe, appealing and state-of-the-art office,” Cathy Hyodo, managing partner for Grant Thornton’s L.A. office, said in a statement. “FourFortyFour fits that bill perfectly.”

Esquire Depositions Solutions, a 44-year-old court-reporting firm based in Atlanta, leased 3,600 square feet of the 21st floor for 7.5 years. Its L.A. office, now at 633 W. 5th St., will move in June.

Tony Morales, Lalo Diaz and Maureen Hawley of JLL represented Dykema Gossett. Eric Duncanson of Cushman & Wakefield represented Grant Thornton. Jeff Lipson and Craig Miller of Stone-Miller represented Esquire Depositions.

With these leases, Coretrust Capital said it signed more than 60,000 square feet of leases at FourFortyFour in the past six months. Last year, it signed Syska Hennessy Group to a 15-year lease, and furnishing designer PeopleSpace renewed last summer for another 10 years.

The Citigroup Center skyscraper at 444 S. Flower St. opened in 1981 and was once featured as the headquarters of a fictional high-powered law firm in the ’80s TV drama “L.A. Law.”

Coretrust Capital spent $50 million to remodel the building with sky-high, 1,000-foot courtyards, upgraded common areas, a new conference center, restaurant and public art.

The founders of Coretrust Capital have a history of restoring skyscrapers Downtown. The company was formed in 2014 by Thomas Ricci, Randall Scott and John Sischo, three former Thomas Properties Group executives who gave a facelift to 555 South Flower St..

It also owns office buildings in Philadelphia and in Virginia, as well Pasarroyo, a four building office complex covering six acres in downtown Pasadena. In 2018, it paid $260 million for the 640,000-square-foot, block-long complex formerly known as Corporate Center Pasadena.

More than 25 percent of all the office space in Los Angeles County was available for lease or sublease in the first quarter of this year, up nearly a full percentage point from the fourth quarter of 2021.

[Commercial Observer] – Dana Bartholomew

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