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Newly landmarked Catalina Swimwear building hits the market

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The 1920s-era building is ready for redevelopment

The 1920s-era building was an early project for architect William Douglas Lee.
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Last year, real estate investor Statewide Acquisitions Corporation purchased Downtown LA’s historic Catalina Swimwear building with plans to repurpose the 1920s-era industrial structure as a live-work complex with a bit of ground-floor commercial space.

But The Real Deal reports that the company is now looking to sell the building. Listing agent William Everitt tells Curbed that the adaptive reuse project is permit-ready, but that the seller is looking to “secure the capital” for the building’s redevelopment.

As The Real Deal notes, that could mean passing the property off to another investor or finding a development partner willing to buy a stake in the project.

Property records show that Statewide Acquisitions paid just over $20 million for the building in February of 2016. Since then, the Toy District structure, located at 443 South San Pedro Street, has been added to the city’s list of Historic-Cultural monuments.

Everitt says that, while the property was in escrow last year, its current owner discovered that it was designed by William Douglas Lee, who later went on to design Hancock Park’s El Royale apartments and the Château Marmont. Built for Pacific Knitting Mills, which later became the Catalina Swimwear company, the building was one of many elegantly designed industrial facilities constructed in the Downtown area during the early 20th Century.

The investment firm successfully pursued landmark status for the property, making it eligible for key tax breaks under California’s Mills Act.

Landmark status will also guide the building’s redevelopment. Any alterations to the property will have to be vetted by the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission to ensure the changes are in compliance with historical standards set by the Secretary of the Interior.

Everitt tells Curbed he expects the building will fetch around $300 per square foot, which would equate to around $27 million.