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WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA-Developer Charles S. Cohen of New York City broke ground Thursday for the long awaited “Red Building,” the third and final phase of the Pacific Design Center at the corner of Melrose Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard. The $160-million, 400,000-sf class A office building will join two others, known as the Green Building and the Blue Building, on the 14-acre campus.

Cohen, who is the head of Cohen Brothers Realty Corp., says that demand for office space on the Westside of Los Angeles, one of the region’s tightest office markets, was one of the driving factors in the decision to start the new project. He notes that the office portions of the PDC’s Green and Blue buildings are fully leased.

Recent market reports show the West Hollywood office market as one of the tightest submarkets in an overall Westside L.A. office market where demand remains extremely strong. The direct vacancy rate in West Hollywood stood at about 4.5% at the end of 2006, with only a 5% overall availability.

Among the amenities planned for the new building are a valet motor court with elevators to its two sky lobbies, concierge service at the lobbies, and a landscaped area called Palm Court sitting six stories above the Pacific Design Center plaza. Other features at the design center include an on-site fitness center, two restaurants created by chef Wolfgang Puck, a branch of the Museum of Contemporary Art and a screening facility known for celebrity events such as Oscar Night parties.

Like the two before it, the Red Building is being designed by architect Cesar Pelli. The executive architect for the project is Gruen Associates, with Area Design Inc. as interior architect and Thomas Balsley Associates as landscape architect.

The Red Building’s 400,000 sf of office space is expected to be available for occupancy in 2009. In addition to its office space, the Pacific Design Center is one of the West Coast’s leading showroom facilities for the design industry, with more than 130 showrooms representing 2,100 product lines.

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