Aw, maybe that bowler on the sign atop the brick-clad Jensen's Recreation Center in Echo Park will finally get his strike: the building's just sold and the new owners, Vista Investment Group LLC, will drop up to $1.25 million into upgrades, including repairs to the 17-by-28-foot articulating sign—believed to be the only sign of its type and size in the nation, according to a release Vista. The new owners will make improvements to the common areas, lobby, and entry of the Jensen's Rec building, which currently houses apartments on the upper floors and hip retail (Blue Bottle Coffee, a raw/vegan restaurant) on the ground level.
Built in 1924, Jensen's originally included 46 apartments, a billiard hall, and a bowling alley—hence the sign—under one roof and was one of the first buildings in Los Angeles to combine residential units and entertainment in one building. (The building's namesake, Henry C. Jensen, also built theaters. One in Pasadena, the Raymond, is now lofts; another, his Melrose Theater, is now the Ukrainian Culture Center.)
Vista had been trying to get previous owners Sunset Holding Company to sell to them since 2010 and just finally got the chance to pay $15 million for the property, which was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1998.
That sign, when fixed up, might look like a brighter, less wonky version of this:
· Jensen's Recreation Center archives [Curbed LA]