The nine-story Merritt building in Downtown Los Angeles has long been vacant save for its ground-floor retailers, but there may be big plans in its future. The Los Angeles Times reports the building has changed hands for the “sky-high price” of $24 million. The buyer is “an international buyer” whom the broker representing the sellers would not identify.
The unyielding hotness of Broadway in Downtown likely contributed to one of its mostly vacant buildings fetching such a price. “People see the potential Broadway has with all the development going on,” Kelli Snyder, an associate with Cushman & Wakefield, told the Times. (Cushman and Wakefield represented the sellers, a local investor group, in the transaction.)
Built in 1915, the neoclassical Merritt building sits at 761 South Broadway, on the edge of the Historic Core—a prime location. It’s kitty-corner from the Tower Theatre, a historic venue where Apple is reportedly setting up a new shop, and just across the street from the under-renovation Broadway Trade Center, which will become a virtual city-within-a-city with a hotel, multiple eateries and bars, residential space, and offices.
Just a couple blocks south of the Merritt building on Broadway, there’s the Eastern building and the Ace Hotel, both of which attract celebrities.
Right now, the ground floor of the Merritt is occupied by a check cashing business and storefronts selling hats and sunglasses—the kind of vendors that were once the mainstays of the Downtown retail landscape but which are gradually disappearing. The structure’s upper floors have been vacant, which is probably why graffiti can often be seen along its roofline. Its last occupant was a bank, Home Savings & Loan Assn.
As for its next occupant, that remains unclear. The new mystery owner is “weighing several options” for the Merritt building, says the Times, including creative offices.