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CRA Makes Garland Center Move Official

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, January 12, 2010, at 10:20PM
Popular Center Eric Richardson [Flickr]

The Community Redevelopment Agency will soon be moving out of 354 S. Spring, the building it has occupied since 1980.

The Community Redevelopment Agency will make its move to City West despite efforts by a potential new owner to keep the agency's headquarters in the Historic Core structure it has inhabited since 1980. The Mayor's office this evening issued a statement confirming the decision, which was approved by the agency board in December.

The board met in closed session last Thursday to consider an offer from developer Allen Gross, who had negotiated a deal to purchase 354 S. Spring that was contingent on keeping the agency in the building. Afterward, Gross was informed that the agency planned to move ahead with the Garland Center move.

While the offer Gross presented to the agency offered a lower rent than what it will be paying in City West, sources close to the negotiations say that key sticking points involved the amount of tenant improvements that would be needed in the 1902 structure and the commission that would be paid to Travers Realty, the broker representing the CRA.

The agency will occupy nearly 100,000 square feet in the Garland Center, located on 7th street west of the 110 freeway. The L.A. Times reports that friction over the proposed move led agency CEO Cecilia Estolano to resign in November. “If I’m unsuccessful, I’m leaving,” she wrote last March in an email quoted by the Times.

Also currently 354 S. Spring and expected to make a move is CRA's Downtown region. The office is required to stay within one of its redevelopment areas, and staff are currently considering buildings in South Park. The smaller region office would occupy between 5,000 and 10,000 square feet.

The office moves will largely empty the upper floors of 354 S. Spring. The building is listed at 128,000 square feet.

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