Two years ago, El Segundo was extremely excited when architect Frank Gehry announced he'd be moving his headquarters from Los Angeles to that city, creating a trellis-filled campus out of two buildings at Utah and Alaska avenues. Gehry even put out designs for the campus, while El Segundo unveiled a "Welcome Frank" web site. Well, work just started in the last couple of weeks on the buildings in El Segundo. But there will be no Gehry. There will be no trellises. “We have been informed that Frank Gehry Partners aren’t moving their offices at this point,” says Greg Carpenter, director of Planning and Building Safety for the city, who says Gehry's office informed them of the decision to drop out about four to six months ago. Instead, the 60,000 square foot campus will be built out as creative office space, according to Kevin Mansfield, director of acquisitions at Beverly Hills-based developer NSB Associates, the company involved in the project. The office space should be finished by the fall.
Construction pics of El Segundo campus. Here's what the campus looked like in fall 2008.
Gehry's office didn't return calls, but as to the question on why Gehry dropped out, and whether his company is a part owner of the land, here's what Mansfield wrote in an email: "Our experience over the past 2 years throughout all of our portfolio is that the expansion plans of all tenants have been put on hold, Gehry Partners is no different. I can’t comment on ownership other than to say Gehry Partners has never been an owner of the property."
· Waiting for Gehry: El Segundo's Vacant Offices [Curbed LA]