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LOS ANGELES, CA-The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, plans to build a new headquarters on recently purchased land in downtown Los Angeles, where it will move from rented offices in Woodland Hills.

The endowment, which distributes grants to health-related organizations, bought a 6.5-acre site next to Union Station from the United States Postal Service for $11.3 million.

A spokesman for the for the foundation tells GlobeSt.com that the organization will move its headquarters to a new facility that will be developed at the site and will also consolidate an existing foundation office near Ninth Street and Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. The headquarters in Woodland Hills and the Wilshire Boulevard space combined total about 75,000 sf.

Besides the endowment’s headquarters, the new campus will include a large conference center where community organizations can hold meetings, conferences, seminars, and training workshops. The facility will also include a health resource and research library. About a third of the new space will be devoted to community use and the rest for the endowment staff.

The development manager for the project is Los Angeles-based Urban Partners, which assisted the foundation in acquiring the land from the postal service and will oversee design, bidding, construction and the relocation from the organization’s existing offices.

Dan Rosenfeld, a principal at Urban Partners, tells GlobeSt.com that the new facility will be the latest in a series of development boosts for downtown Los Angeles.

“The decision by the endowment to locate near Union Station is very significant as another positive for downtown,” Rosenfeld says, citing other new downtown developments like the Staples Center, the Disney Concert Hall and the recently completed Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

“Even more significant,” Rosenfeld says, “is that the endowment is locating at Union Station, the center of the transportation system, which makes it equally accessible to everyone.”

Planning and design have just begun for the development, Rosenfeld says. He says the group has yet to choose an architect for the project, which is expected to break ground in late 2003, with occupancy planned for early 2006.

The California Endowment was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable health care for under-served individuals and communities. It has regional offices in San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno and San Diego.

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