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Downtown's Stock Exchange Building Has a Date in Norwalk

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Via Elizabeth Daniels

Perhaps a preservation-minded developer wants to tackle this one? The long-suffering Los Angeles Stock Exchange building on Spring Street in downtown is set to be auctioned off by its lender on November 9th at the Norwalk courthouse, according to public records posted on Property Shark. Ah, the courthouse steps of Norwalk, where all good buildings pass. A Historic Cultural Monument, the 1929 structure at 618 S. Spring is owned by Pax America Development LLC, and is mostly known for the rotating list of nightclubs that have occupied the building.

The current club tenant is Exchange LA, which is located in the podium portion of the property. But the adjoining 12-story office building portion sits empty and neglected, according to Camill Saydeh, general manager of Exchange LA. "The rest is all cobwebs," he says, adding that the elevator doesn't stop at all floors, nor does he believe some floors are up to code.

The state of the building has been referenced in numerous lawsuits since Pax America purchased the site in 2006 for $7.5 million. In 2009, they filed a lawsuit against the previous owners, arguing the sellers "concealed material facts from PAX America regarding the condition of the Stock Exchange building, its compliance with applicable code standards, and whether the city had any open investigations or complaints related to the Stock Exchange property," according to court documents.

Saydeh believes a new owner would need to spend at least $3 million-$4 million just for retrofitting. Additionally, he says his company, which will continue to operate the club despite a possible change in ownership, is owed roughly $2 million from Pax America for upgrades done at Exchange LA, a process which included upgrading building’s historic elements. You can check out the tour here.

The building, designed by architect Samuel Lunden in the Monumental Moderne style, had its ground-breaking a week before the 1929 crash, according to LA Conservancy records, and opened in the midst of the Great Depression.

Calls to a representative of Pax America LLC weren't returned.
· Inside Exchange LA's Beautiful Art Deco-Inspired Interior [Eater LA]