801 Broadway Hits Market Again

Owners Waterbridge Capital and Continental Equities were looking for a $251 million bridge loan in April. Starwood previously provided over $210 million in financing.

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Owners of a historic 1.12 million-square-foot property and mixed-use development in Downtown Los Angeles are trying to reel in a buyer, Commercial Observer has learned.

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Sources familiar with the ownership and the sales effort confirmed the 2.7-acre property at 801 South Broadway is back on the market. Waterbridge Capital and Continental Equities have owned the property since August 2014.

The massive property is completely vacant and takes up half a city block, bounded by Broadway and Hill Street. It is currently entitled for office, retail, restaurant, hotel and residential use, according to marketing documents obtained by CO.

Four floors above ground-floor retail are designated to be for large creative or traditional office use. Marketing materials compared the building to offices in California that are leased to Google and Twitter, perhaps alluding to the type of tenant or buyer base the owners are hoping to attract. 

Floors 7 to 9 are considered to be fit for a hotel. The architecture firm Omgivning designed layouts for a hotel with 108 to 186 rooms with a private rooftop. 

Property records show the building was acquired for $122.3 million in 2014. In April, Commercial Observer reported that Waterbridge and Continental had been looking for $251 million in bridge financing for the property. Starwood Property Trust previously provided $213 million in financing for 801 South Broadway, records show. That funding was extended in 2019, and covered at least a $165 million loan from Jamestown LP from 2016.

Starwood, Waterbridge and CBRE — which is marketing the project — declined to comment. Continental Equities’ founder Jack Jangana could not be reached.

The existing property is an L.A. Historic-Cultural Monument. It was first built in 1908 as Hamburger & Son’s Department Store, the largest retail department store west of the Mississippi at the time. In 1923, the now-defunct May Company created a California subsidiary when it acquired A. Hamburger & Sons Inc. and the property at 801 South Broadway. The May Company vacated the property in the late 1980s, and it became a mixed-use garment manufacturing facility, called Broadway Trade Center, with ground-floor retail, until 2014 when Waterbridge and Continental acquired it.

Downtown L.A. has been undergoing a wide-ranging redevelopment boom for years, starting with a wave of residential towers, followed by office, retail and hospitality. The historic May Company parking garage across the road at 914 South Hill Street — which was the first parking structure of its kind on the West Coast, and served customers shopping at the May Company department store — is being converted into modern office space by Beverly Hills-based Markwood.

Marketing materials for 801 South Broadway also points to the premier retail tenants that entered the scene in the immediate area, including a Jumpman apparel location at 620 South Broadway, and the Tower Theatre across Broadway is being redeveloped into an Apple location for retail and event space.