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LOS ANGELES-The Kor Group has launched a conversion and restoration of the historic Eastern Columbia Building at 849 S. Broadway that will turn the former commercial building into condominiums. The project is one of several such conversions now in the works that mark the expansion of Kor, which formerly focused mainly on hotels, into the residential development arena.

Kor will convert the Eastern Columbia Building into 147 lofts ranging from 881 sf to 3,208 sf. The building will include a rooftop pool and deck, a terrace and a fitness studio, among other features.

Built in 1930 by retail merchant Adolph Sieroty, the 13-story, 270,000-sf Eastern Columbia building is a downtown landmark for its jade terracotta façade, gold leafing and other architectural attributes. Sieroty razed his one-story Columbia Outfitting store on the corner of Broadway and 9th Street to build the Eastern Columbia despite the Depression of 1929. The building initially housed Siertoy’s Eastern Clock Co. and Columbia Outfitting. It was designed by Claude Beelman in what is described as a zig-zag moderne style, and for years it was the tallest commercial building in downtown, second only to City Hall. The Santa Monica-based architectural firm of Killefer & Flammang is the architect for the conversion, with condominium interiors by Kelly Wearstler Interior Design.

The Eastern Columbia Building is one of four other initial projects that Kor is developing in its residential portfolio. The others are the Molino Street Lofts in the artists’ lofts district of downtown L.A., the Broadway Hollywood at the former Broadway department store at Hollywood and Vine and Sunset Silver Lake in Silver Lake.

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