By Greg Cornfield | Commercial Observer
Silverstein Properties, the owner of the 1,018-foot tall U.S. Bank Tower in Downtown Los Angeles, announced a $60 million renovation plan for the trophy asset after acquiring it in one of the biggest pandemic-driven steals of 2020.
The investment in one of the tallest buildings in the Western U.S. includes redesigning the building’s main entrance and lobby, and upgrades across 35,000 square feet of common space, the firm said. It also includes removing the nearly five-year-old Skyslide tourist attraction on the side of the building at the 70th floor.
Instead, Silverstein plans a new amenity destination for building tenants on the 54th floor, featuring panoramic views, food and beverage options and an event space. The space, named The Vista, will also feature meeting and conference rooms and a co-working lounge. The floor will also feature a drink bar and grab-and-go cafe, and a full-service kitchen to cater meetings and private events.
Building upgrades, led by Jeffrey Beers’s design studio JBI and architecture firm A + I, are set to begin this summer and be completed by the end of 2022.
The makeover of L.A.’s most recognizable skyscraper comes in a time when office space is very much in limbo following the work-from-home phenomenon, which is what led to Silverstein acquiring the U.S. Bank Tower last September for a massive 31 percent discount at $430 million. The price cut was reached after taking into account “U.S. property market conditions” and because “tenants in the property have reduced, or temporarily closed down, their operations, and the rental income from the property has been correspondingly affected,” according to sellers OUE Limited.
The industry is facing a record level of available space in L.A. and declining investment after the pandemic hit, but more of California is set to reopen in less than a month, and more signs of recovery are coming in.
“This city is a global destination that continues to attract some of the country’s leading businesses,” Lisa H. Silverstein, vice chair of Silverstein Properties, said in a statement. “I also believe in the future of Downtown L.A. as a major creative and business hub. I have no doubt that once the pandemic is behind us, we will see the return of dynamic job growth, millennial and Gen Z population growth and residential migration into Downtown.”
The renovation plan is aimed at providing a workplace environment that meets evolving needs and flexibility of both traditional and creative office tenants.
“Once completed, U.S. Bank Tower will sport a look and feel more in line with the world’s leading boutique hotels,” said Jeremy Moss, executive vice president of leasing at Silverstein Properties. “Informed by hospitality design, our repositioning plans will transform all aspects of the building to create a workplace environment that meets the evolving needs of the modern workforce.”
The U.S. Bank Tower was designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and built more than 30 years ago by Maguire Properties. Located near the Pershing Square Metro station it is the second tallest tower in L.A. Its current tenants include U.S. Bank, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, Thomson Reuters, and Marsh USA.