Source :: Los Angeles Times
Date :: 11.11.2012
By :: Roger Vincent
A decision by the State Bar of California to move its longtime headquarters in downtown Los Angeles has cleared the way for a $250-million apartment and retail complex on what is now the State Bar's parking lot near Staples Center.
Beverly Hills developer Sonny Astani and parking lot giant L&R Group of Cos. bought the 3-acre property from the lawyers' group for $29 million. It is surrounded by Olive Street, Grand Avenue, Pico Boulevard and 12th Street.
"This is probably the last large parking lot downtown that is unentitled and undeveloped," Astani said.
His firm, Astani Enterprises Inc., plans to build 640 apartments in two seven-story buildings that would have shops and restaurants on the ground floors. He hopes to start work within a year.
The land sale helped fund the State Bar's recent $50-million purchase of a building at 845 S. Figueroa St. where it will move after nearly 20 years in an AT&T Center building on Hill Street. The seller was L&R, which is renovating the 1960s-era building to make it into modern offices.
Astani has 2,500 apartments in $1 billion worth of mixed-use buildings in the pipeline for development in Hollywood, Koreatown, downtown and the Westside, he said.