Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Associated Estates Purchases Historic Desmond’s Tower

Desmond Tower, 5500 Wilshire Boulevard

Associated Estates Realty Corporation, a real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Richmond Heights, Ohio (outside of Cleveland) has acquired The Desmond Tower at 5500 Wilshire Boulevard. According to their press release, Associated Estates plans to build up to 175 apartments and structured parking. Desmond’s Tower is a 78,800 square foot office and retail building that has several tenants, including the internationally acclaimed Ace Gallery.

[Update – 5/9 10:52a :  According to the Wall Street Journal, Associated Estates paid $37 Million for the site and plans to spend about $70 Million to develop. Furthermore, the WSJ reports that the development already received government approvals for construction and can skip the long approval process.  Construction will start in early 2013. Stay tuned for more information as to how this development will proceed. Larchmont Buzz has a call in to Associated Estates.]

The historic art deco building was designed by Architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood in 1928. Desmond’s was the first major structure on the Miracle Mile. The building, declared Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument #332 in 1987, includes two stories of retail space that was home to Desmond’s Department Store, Silverwood’s, W. Jay Saylor and Phelps Terkel. These retailers, along with Miracle Mile developer Alvah Warren (A.W.) Ross, are credited with starting the decentralization of business in Los Angeles. The 10-story Art Deco office tower was a visual landmark, and was the first major development and first high-rise building in the Miracle Mile district.

Architect Underwood also designed the federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles and the Ahawahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park.

Below you will find the press release on the acquisition, plus a video by Architects of Time that shows the building features over time.

Press Release – Associated Estates Acquires Historic Wilshire Boulevard Property


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Mary has lived in the Hancock Park area for over 20 years - including homes in Larchmont Village and Windsor Square. Mary has lived in some great places in her life - but none compare to the convenience and majesty of our neighborhood. For Mary, the neighborhood has been a wonderful home to her large, extended one time she had family members living on seven different Hancock Park area blocks! Larchmont Buzz is a labor of love - built to celebrate the neighborhood and to elevate the conversation in the area.

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    • We’re trying to get confirmation. We’ve reached out to Associated and Tom LaBonge’s office. I’ll update in the morning!


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