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Landmark Fine Arts Building in Downtown LA trying to fetch $45M

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The elaborately decorated building dates back to the 1920s

One of Downtown LA's most elaborate edifices, the Fine Arts Building, might be changing hands soon: The Real Deal reports that the building's owners, Rome-based Sorgente Group of America, is quietly shopping the 12-story trophy property, and "sources with knowledge of the listing" say the owners want to sell for $45 million.

TRD says that puts the per-square-foot price at about $388—much higher than the Downtown average of $300 a square foot, but cheaper than the $430 per square foot that the PacMutual Building sold for.

Often referred to as a Romanesque Revival-style building, the Fine Arts Building was originally intended to hold offices, galleries, and display spaces for artists (many were employed to decorate the building). Oviatt Building architects Albert R. Walker and Percy A. Eisen designed the structure, and it features interior tilework by the renowned Pasadena tilemaker Ernest Batchelder, as well as indoor murals and decorative sculptures along its exterior.

The Fine Arts Building opened in 1926, but its art-focused goals were quickly derailed by the Great Depression. It wasn’t long before the building became a standard office building.

But its architectural excellence was not forgotten—it’s a city Historic-Cultural Landmark.

Located on 7th Street between Flower and Figueroa, the building was renovated just this year and is currently used as offices. TRD says the Fine Arts Building is 88 percent leased. The coworking company WeWork takes up six floors in the structure; its lease doesn’t expire until 2029.

Sorgente Group of America is something of a collector of historic properties; it also owns the Flatiron Building in New York. It bought the Los Angeles building in 2012, paying $28.5 million.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the Fine Arts Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is not.