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LOS ANGELES- Trizec Properties Inc. of Chicago has acquired the 1-million-sf Figueroa at Wilshire downtown office tower from a partnership of Houston-based Hines and German investment fund Deutsche Immobilien Fonds AG for $356.7 million. The deal ends months of speculation about who the winning bidder would be for the 52-story class A building.

The Figueroa at Wilshire tower, at 601 S. Figueroa St., occupies a site in the heart of downtown and at one of its busiest intersections. It is the third high-rise that Trizec has acquired in downtown L.A., which is one of the office markets that Trizec has targeted for acquisitions for some time.

Tim Callahan, president and CEO of the REIT, says the acquisition shows that Trizec is “committed to being a significant player” in Los Angeles. According to Brian Lipson, a Trizec EVP and its chief investment officer, the REIT was attracted to the building for a number of reasons, including its record of “outperforming the market in terms of occupancy and rental rates.”

With two leases expiring around year-end that account for approximately 29% of the space in the building, Trizec foresees taking advantage of the improving office fundamentals in the downtown market, Lipson says. The building is about 87% occupied.

The Figueroa at Wilshire building was designed by Albert C. Martin & Associates and was completed in 1990. The tower was constructed during a downtown building boom in which developers erected some of the highest quality class A office buildings in the history of Los Angeles.

Among the features at 601 Figueroa are an open-air plaza with a 36-foot tall sculpture that features two bronze columns combining water and fire. The property includes a five-level subterranean parking structure with 778 spaces and other on-site amenities including an upscale restaurant, a full service commercial bank and other business services.

Trizec’s Los Angeles area portfolio now totals 4.5 million sf consisting of three downtown properties. The other two are Bank of America Plaza and Ernst & Young Plaza. Its other Southern California holdings include Landmark Square in Long Beach and Marina Towers in Marina Del Rey, totaling 824,000 sf.

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