Singapore developer Overseas Union Enterprise has decided to purchase the 72-story US Bank Tower from landlord MPG Office Trust Inc., the Los Angeles Times reported. The sale is expected to bring MPG a profit of more than $100 million after the landlord has struggled with debt and an anemic office market since the recession. Only about 60 percent of the building is leased, the paper said.
The 1,018-foot building was previously named Library Tower and First Interstate World Center. Completed in 1989, the skyscraper was designed by the New York firm of architect I.M. Pei.
The cylindrical structure was on an early list of targets for the 2001 terrorist attacks and has appeared in numerous television shows and movies including the 1996 thriller "Independence Day," in which alien invaders appeared to blow it up.
Real estate analyst Jed Reagan of Green Street Advisors said the tower's design isn't an efficient layout for an office building.
"That kind of an office layout really is no longer attractive to most tenants," Reagan said. "It would take a lot of money to renovate each floor and reconfigure it as tenants would like."
The office market in downtown Los Angeles has been dominated for several years by MPG and another landlord, Brookfield Office Properties Inc.
"This sale takes away some of the hold that MPG had on the market and allows for a new company to come in and re-price office product in downtown Los Angeles," said Hans Mumper, managing director of the Los Angeles area for real estate brokerage Colliers International.
The transaction is scheduled to close on June 28, MPG Office Trust said in a press release.