PHOENIX-An Irvine, CA buyer has claimed two landmark office buildings in Downtown Phoenix, paying $28 million for the 163,000-sf Luhrs Tower and 78,000-sf Luhrs Building. The new owner will put an additional $5 million to $6 million into upgrading the historic structures.

Hansji Urban acquired both assets and their six-story parking garage from Winston Management & Investment Inc. of San Mateo, CA in a direct deal. The upgrades will begin at once, says Rajan Hansji, the buyer’s principal.

“Right now our focus is the Luhrs Building because it’s vacant. We want to work on it and lease it up,” Hansji says. The building at 13 W. Jefferson St. will undergo interior work, including system upgrades and any tenant improvements that will be needed as tenants come on board. “What we’re trying to do is make this as close to a class A building on the inside as possible,” he says.

Hansji adds the Luhrs Building’s renovation should take four to six months to complete. Then, the buyer will begin work on the 95%-occupied Luhrs Tower at 45 W. Jefferson St. Jerry Jacobs, senior director with Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona Inc., is leasing both buildings.

The two buildings were constructed in the 1920s on a two-acre tract in the heart of the Downtown. When the 15-story Luhrs Tower opened, it was the tallest building in Phoenix. The Luhrs Tower and 10-story Luhrs Building are on the Phoenix Historic Property Register. Hansji tells that in addition to being wonderful old buildings, the location is superb.

“It’s Main and Main in Downtown Phoenix and that area is going through a huge change,” Hansji says. “This is not a short-term play for us. This is a long-term hold to fix it up and maybe do some future development too.”

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