Waterbridge buys former L.A. dept. store

Broadway Trade Center in Los Angeles
Broadway Trade Center in Los Angeles

A New York real estate firm is buying a former department store in downtown Los Angeles with plans of converting the property into a mixed-use development.

Waterbridge Capital has agreed to buy the 1.1 million square-foot property surrounded by Broadway, Hill Street and 8th Street known as Broadway Trade Center. The price was not disclosed, but experts familiar with the market expect the property to garner between $115 million and $130 million.

The building owned by Beverly Hills investors is likely to end up having multiple uses, which include offices, a hotel, stores and apartments or condominiums.

Phillip Sample and Chris Caras of CBRE Group represented the seller in the deal.

Opened in 1908 as the Hamburger department store, the building sold clothing and home furnishings and featured a soda fountain, restaurant, grocery store, post office and roof garden. The third floor also housed the L.A. Public Library for a few years.

The department store grew even bigger after its 1923 purchase by the May Co., a St. Louis department store chain.

Additions made by May Co. include a nine-story tower connected to the original five-story structure and a garage at 9th and Hill streets. [LAT] —TRD