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Dec. 3, 2013

Sears Building in Boyle Heights Trades Hands for $29 Million as New Owner Takes Charge of Redevelopment Hot Spot

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

One of downtown L.A.’s landmark buildings recently traded hands and is set for a change of direction. The Sears Roebuck & Co building, one of the most high-profile structures in the entire Boyle Heights neighborhood, was purchased by residential developer Izek Shomof for a total fee of approximately $29 million. The building had been owned by MJW Investments for the past nine years. The property had been the focal point of a massive redevelopment project that has since tanked.

Located at 2650 E. Olympic Boulevard, the nine-story building features a tower that stands 14 stories tall which has been a staple of the area for the 85 years of its existence. Currently on the National Register of Historic Places, the property is located on a 23-acre site that will undoubtedly be the spot for a new mixed-use development. Former owner MJW Investments was ready to pour $500 million into a redevelopment process that included residential units and a retail component of around 700,000 square feet. The 1.8 million square feet of space that the former product distribution center offers is now under the guidance of developer Izek Shomof, who will put to use his experience in the renovation of office and hospitality assets.

The property’s value has definitely fluctuated over the past decade, as rentv.com writes that current seller MJW Investments acquired the property in 2004 for a fee of $32 million. However, the Los Angeles Times recollects that back in 2007, boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya and a group of investors were linked to a move for the property worth a rumored $70 million. The possible buyers then decided not to go through with the acquisition due to the economic downturn. Five years later, the price reverted to its 2003-2004 value, with a loss in value of just $3 million.

Image courtesy of user Los Angeles via Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

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