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LOS ANGELES-The Ratkovich Co. has started the second and most visible phase of the locally based investment and development firm’s $34-million revitalization of the 500,000-sf 5900 Wilshire Blvd. office tower in the Miracle Mile district. This phase of work on the 30-story tower across from the L.A. County Museum of Art will include a new lobby opening onto Wilshire Boulevard that will be designed by Johnson Fain.

According to Wayne Ratkovich, president and founder of the Ratkovich Co., since acquiring the 5900 Wilshire building in December 2005, the locally based firm has “done a great deal of work behind the scenes” at the 5900 Wilshire building to “bring it up to modern standards.” The goal in this next phase is “to create a more natural connection between what’s going on in and outside the building” with the new lobby design to make it more appealing to the public and to prospective new tenants, he says.

The completed first phase of the renovation included replacing the building’s 16 elevators, replacing the HVAC system, central plant, fire life safety systems, roof, and emergency generator. The transformed building is scheduled to debut in the second quarter of this year with the unveiling of the completed lobby. In addition to the extensive work under way on the existing 5900 Wilshire tower, construction is expected to start in late 2008 on a new pavilion and café designed by architect Greg Lynn.

The Ratkovich Co. and Prudential Real Estate Investors acquired the 5900 Wilshire Building for approximately $102.5 million in December 2005. The 30-story office tower, along with its two, two-story satellite buildings, comprises just under 500,000 sf of office and retail.

The 5900 building, the tallest office building along the Miracle Mile, was designed by architect William Pereira as a companion to and across the street from the L.A. County Museum of Art. It was built in 1971 for Mutual Benefit Life by the Shorenstein Co. of San Francisco and was renovated in 1993.

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