MacFarlane Partners plans to change the downtown skyline with a new development at the former Park Fifth site.

LOS ANGELES- MacFarlane Partners has entered escrow to purchase the Park Fifth site downtown for an undisclosed amount after nine months of negotiations. Once escrow closes in March 2014,  the real estate investment company plans to develop a mixed-use high-rise building on the site.

“We’re delighted to be back in Los Angeles to develop an underutilized parcel of land, one that’s been promised development for decades, and now we’re going to make it happen,” says Gregory Vilkin, MacFarlane Partners managing principal and president.

Pre-recession in June 2007, developer David Houk along with financial partners Africa-Israel Investments and Namco Capital Group planned a $1.3 billion development for the site with a 76-story building, the largest west of Chicago, and a 44-story apartment community. Hit hard by the recession, the venture stalled and had been looking for investors to take over the project.

Instead, MacFarlane Partners entered with an entirely new development plan. Its project will be about half the size of the planned Park Fifth: one high-rise building and one mid-rise building totaling 600,000 square feet. Vilkin believes this development is more realistic, while still providing the high-rise projects the city is encouraging.  The development will also decrease traffic, pollution and other environmental impacts that were concerns of the Park Fifth project.

Similarly, the G12 site, a $245 million mixed-use multifamily development downtown, secured a new landowner last week, reported in an earlier story. The site was originally owned by a joint venture between Astani Enterprises and L&R Group. The Wolff Co. purchased the site for $45 million and plans to move forward with the original development with Astani Enterprises.