10 Biggest Commercial Real Estate Projects in Los Angeles

September 25th, 2013 by Diane Moore

 Los Angeles has been one of the most productive growth machines for over a hundred years as the region is blessed with a huge opportunity for growth and prosperity, a great climate and excellent natural beauty that cannot be found anywhere on earth. The place has an apparent entrepreneurial culture along with an exhaustive intellectual curiosity which makes the region a place of immutable discovery where there exists continuous growth.

10 commercial real estate projects in Los Angeles

10 commercial real estate projects in Los Angeles

The economy of Los Angles is dependent on a multitude of pillars. The place is the largest manufacturing hub in the United States with the drivers of its economy including entertainment, international trade, technology, aerospace, petroleum, tourism and fashion. The other drivers of the economy are professional and business management services, telecommunications and finance.


Los Angles has some of the renowned firms of the world including Twentieth Century Fox, Janofsky & Walker LLP, Guess, Gibson, Paramount Pictures and The Jim Henson Company among others. The hub of commercial real estate in Los Angeles is renowned for the Los Angeles Convention Center, which organizes various celebrated events, such as the annual Auto Show and also great shopping complexes like Aon Center, South Coast Plaza and many more.


Some of the biggest commercial real estate projects in Los Angeles include the following:

Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC)

Los Angeles Convention Center

Los Angeles Convention Center

As one of the architecturally pleasing, and the most technologically advanced superb venues across the globe, Los Angeles Convention Center is one of the most important contributors to the cultural and economic vitality of the place. Situated at South Figueroa Street, this commercial real estate property in Los Angeles is an important destination for filming movies, still-model shoots and commercials.


Some interesting aspects of this place are as follows:


  • It has a total area of 720,000 square feet of exhibition space and 147,000 square feet of meeting room space.
  • There are 64 meeting rooms in all, three huge food courts and a business center with full services.
  • Around 5,600 vehicles can be parked on the site.
  • South Hall, measuring 347,000 square feet
  • Kentia Hall (can be converted into a parking garage to accommodate 415 cars).
  • West Hall measuring 210,000 square feet


The LACC organizes annual events including Anime Expo, Auto Show and is famous for hosting the Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly known as E3. The latest events included in the list are the Primetime Emmy Awards’ Governors Ball, Abilities Expo, Microsoft WPC and frequent movie filming and TV shows. The place achieved a historical feat on 15th September, 2008 when the United States Green Building Council awarded it with the highly sought after Leadership of Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings’ certification.


A tornado on 1st of March, 1983 led to massive damages to the upper level panels and the roof. The structure was repaired and new lettering hoardings were installed which cost around $ 3 million. Since 2005, the place has started organizing the MusiCares Person of The Year which is held two nights before the Grammy Awards.


Visit here to know more about LACC.

Metro Division 13 Bus Maintenance and Operations Facility


The latest bus facility for Metropolitan Transportation in Los Angeles costing $ 37.5 million is not any ordinary garage. Constructed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, this 442,265 square feet commercial real estate project in Los Angeles will have the highest level of development with vehicles being stacked in a three -storied -building.

Metro Division 13 Bus Maintenance and Operations Facility

Metro Division 13 Bus Maintenance and Operations Facility

According to Aaron Kelly, project director at RNL Design in Los Angeles, an interesting feature about this project is the multi-level structure designed to house buses which cannot be seen very often. This project is a huge flat surface and is unique as it’s a vertical bus facility.


Developed to render the public transit service as effectual as possible, the Metro Division 13 Bus Maintenance and Operations Facility can accommodate around 200 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles for one of the busiest locations in the nation.


McCarthy Building Companies is the general contractor in this project and will be performing architectural and structural concrete work on its own. The designer for the facility is RNL.


Kelly states that the project had to be architecturally sophisticated on account of its location. In order to give the project an architectural identity, RNL incorporated some unique and interesting facades. The highlights of the design include:


  • Sun louvers
  • Architectural concrete
  • Curtain walls
  • Photovoltaic and metal panels to screen parking activities. The panels have been arranged in a linear manner and are unique of transportation architecture.
  • Area of 442,655 square feet with fueling and bus washing stations. An attached two-level Transportations and Operations building measuring 21,000 square feet for 329 workers. A maintenance building measuring 71,000 square feet with 19 vehicle and service equipment maintenance centers.
  • The project budget is estimated at $ 95 million.
  • Daylighting to all important work areas
  • Underground water tank capable of holding 275,000 gallons of water
  • Green roof garden which is accessible to Metro workers
  • Cool roof to reduce Heat Island effect
  • The project is designed to accommodate 200 CNG buses
  • Chassis wash


With much more to come, this commercial real estate property in Los Angeles is something to watch out for.

Wilshire Grand


Wilshire Grand in Downton Los Angeles, standing at a height of 1,100 feet will soon emerge as the tallest building in the region. The project costing around $ 1 billion has been developed by Air Lines Co from Korea. It’ll have 73 stories with a unique architectural spire on the topmost part.

Wilshire Grand in Downton Los Angeles

Wilshire Grand in Downton Los Angeles

Yang Ho Cho, Korean Air Chairman says that this iconic structure will redefine the skyline of the city. The approximately 2 million square feet project will undergo completion in the later part of 2016. It was designed by AC Martin Partners, an architect company from Los Angeles and is being constructed by Turner Construction Company from New York. Structural engineering is being overseen by Los Angeles based Brandow & Johnston Inc.


The skyscraper will be a unique element of the Los Angeles skyline since it’ll not have a flat roof design. It’ll house office complexes, retail outlets as well as a high-end hotel.


The highlights of the project include the following:


  • A 900 room affluent hotel above office space of 400,000 square feet and an excess of 45,000 square feet of retail space.
  • Parking space to occupy seven floors.
  • The unique spire on the top will be constructed either of aluminum or stainless steel.
  • A helicopter pad to stand next to the spire


Chris Martin CEO of AC Martin Partner says that the spire and the whole of the outermost portion of the tower will be loaded with LED lighting that can be programmed. This will be seen all across the city and will give a certain character to the building when it’s lit.


This commercial real estate property in Los Angeles is based on the spot where the former Wilshire Grand Hotel was located. Turner has to first demolish a total of 1 million square feet of the former hotel to get the new skyscraper up.


After the old rubble has been cleared, the workers will be left with a hole measuring between 85 to 100 feet deep. The crews will then prepare the biggest single concrete pours in the entire history of Los Angeles. This will approximately take three days with trucks shooting around 24,000 cubic yards of concrete into the building’s 20 feet thick mat foundation.

US Bank Tower

US Bank Tower

US Bank Tower

US Bank Tower, formerly known as the Library tower and also as First Interstate World Center is the tallest office building in Los Angeles. It was designed by Henry N Cobb associated to the architectural company Pei Cobb Freed & Partners at a cost of  $350 million. The construction commenced in 1987 and underwent completion by 1989.


The commercial real estate property in Los Angeles was designed to withstand an earthquake measuring 8.3 on the Richter scale. The property made a significant appearance in the movie Independence Day, wherein it’s the first structure to be devastated on account of an alien invasion.


It’s one of the most recognizable structures in Los Angeles and is used to shoot films and television programs.


Some important features of the US Bank Tower are as follows:


  • The skyscraper at a height of 1018 feet is the tallest building both in Los Angeles as well as west of the Mississippi River.
  • It has an observation deck with wonderful views of the whole of Los Angeles.
  • It has a total of 73 floors.


According to 9/11 Commission reports, the US Bank Tower featured in the list of terrorist strike for the September 11 mayhem. Some major tenants here include Cornerstone Research, Littler Mendelson, Jenner & Block and White & Case.


In the early part of this year, there was wide speculation of this building being sold to Overseas Union Enterprise from Singapore at a whopping $ 367.5 million. To know more about this amazing skyscraper visit here.

Aon Center

Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles

Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles

Aon Center is an 860 feet office building located at 707 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles and is placed second to US Bank Tower. It has a total of 62 floors and was designed by Charles Luckman. It underwent completion in 1973. The black building which is rectangular in shape was originally known as the United California Bank Building from 1973 until 1981 when it was rechristened First Interstate Tower. When it was completed in 1973, the building was the tallest structure in the world.


The north entrance of the skyscraper is known as Bank Level (BL) since the eastern half of the floor is occupied by a branch of Wells Fargo Bank. The total floor area stands at 116,128 square meters.


The skyscraper was sold by Transwestern Investment Company to New York Investment firm, Broadyway Real Estate Parnters for a sum of $ 185 million in August 2005. Transwestern had bought the property for $ 120 million two years back.


Law company, Morrison & Forester moved to the Aon Center in 2012 after signing one of the biggest leases of the year. Commercial real estate company, Means Knaus Partners also moved here in 2010.


The skyscraper is within walking distance from the best clubs, restaurants, shopping centers, city parks and hotels in urban Los Angeles.


On the 4th of May, 1988 a fire broke out on the 12th floor of the building and burned for a total of four hours. It devastated five floors, injured 40 people and killed one maintenance worker. The property did not have a sprinkler system even though one was being put up when the incident took place. The fire resulted in total damages of around $50,000,000 and the building was repaired again by September 1988.

South Coast Plaza


South Coast Plaza is a high-end luxury shopping mall in Los Angeles built on 128 acres of land, which includes two enclosed malls and numerous outdoor areas. It’s the biggest shopping complex on the west coast with sales crossing $ 1.5 billion, which is the highest in all of the US. This commercial real estate property in Los Angeles houses around 250 retailers and has the largest concentration of fashion retail in America.

South Coast Plaza

South Coast Plaza

The place pulls in around 24 million visitors each year. It has approximately 2.8 million square feet of net leasable area with 250 outlets making it the largest commercial shopping complex in the US.


A majority of luxury brands with very few outlets across the nation has selected South Coast Plaza as their main store location. Zara launched its first Californian outlet in 2004 here. The others to follow the race included French luxury design company Chloe, Rolex, Harry Winston, Dior, Prada etc.


The place has something invaluable for all kinds of shoppers- starting from the affluent to people looking for something affordable. The best time to visit this place is on weekends so that you can find some place to park your vehicle close to the Segerstrom Center.


The shopping complex also has restaurants like Lawry’s Carvery, Vie De France and Charie Palmer. Click here to go the official page of South Coast Plaza.

Beverly Center


Beverly Center is an eight-story shopping complex located in Los Angeles. It occupies a huge area of 883,000 square feet and situated within the heart of Beverly Hills. This place is not for those seeking for a quiet, conventional shopping experience. In fact, its eight stories are always packed to the brim with shoppers from various walks of life. This place reflects the diversity of Los Angeles. You’ll find blondes from LA along with tourists from all corners of the world analyzing the racks expecting to take home a part of the glamour.

Beverly Center

Beverly Center

This commercial real estate property in Los Angeles features the best of US retail like Victoria’s Secret, Banana Republic and Forever 21. It also houses several affluent designer boutiques-such as Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton, Diesel, Ben Sherman and Hugo Boss among others. The rooftop terrace of the mall offers magnificent views of Downtown Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Westside and the Hollywood Hills.


The escalators of the mall which were renovated in 2007 offers visitors an expanded view of the neighboring areas and the hills located on the North.


Since its launch in 1982, this commercial property has played a major role in satiating the retail cravings of the people of Los Angeles as well as international tourists. What was previously the place of a minor amusement activity has blossomed into the hallmark of LA.

Beverly Center is a shopper’s paradise with a wide variety of outlets for both men and women with some excellent bargains. It’s great for real as well as window shopping. If you are an admirer of Victoria Secrets, shoes and Sunglass hut, this is the place to be.
This is the official page of Beverly Center.



Chinatown is a commercial hub for Chinese and Asian businesses which includes art galleries, shops and restaurants in Los Angeles. It’s also comprised of a residential neighborhood with a restricted income and the highest proportion of residents in Los Angeles born outside the US. The place attracts a huge number of tourists from every part of the globe.


There are some incredible restaurants with a wide variety of shops selling goods at reasonable prices. The flea market stands out as people are easily drawn to it on account of the ease in finding articles at cheap prices. The region is dramatically developing in every small way such as the statue of Bruce Lee which has been recently acquired.



There are many tiny specialized grocery outlets here with the Chinese Vietnamese owning numerous bazaars.  These outlets sell products like toys, soaps, clothes and music CDs at cost-effective prices. The restaurants here serve basically Cantonese cuisine; however, there are various restaurants specializing in Asian cuisine like Teochew Chinese, Indonesian, Vietnamese and Thai.


Visit the Foo Chow restaurant as parts of the film Rush Hour were shot here. Saigon Marketplace is an excellent venue for the ladies as it has high-end ladies clothing.


There are approximately 20 art galleries in this commercial real estate in Los Angeles which feature non-Chinese modern art. Some popular galleries are Acuna-Hansen Gallery, China Art Objects, The Gallery and Black Dragon Society.


Los Angeles State Historic Park in Chinatown, also referred to as the Cornfield, is a huge open space between Metro Gold Line tracks and Spring Street.  The events held here include a lantern festival organized at the Chinese American Museum, Chinese New Year Parade and the Miss Los Angeles Chinatown Pageant.

Click here on what other visitors have to say about Chinatown.

Park La Brea


Park La Brea is the largest multifamily housing in the Miracle Mile District of Los Angeles. It has a total of 4,225 units built on a sprawling area of 160 acres. It’s surrounded by 3rd Street to its north, Cochran Avenue to its east, 6th street towards the south and Fairfax Avenue on the western part.

Miracle Mile District of Los Angeles

Miracle Mile District of Los Angeles

The townhouses here were designed by New York based Leonard Schultz & Son along with architect Earl T Heitschmidt in the year 1941. The architectural style has been defined as Modern Colonial. Leonard Schultz Associates along with architects Stanton and Kaufmann designed The Park La Brea Towers in 1948. This architectural group found its inspiration from the multifamily housing of Le Corbusier in France (Paris).

This property is almost close to everything and there are excellent amenities. However, there have been reports of shoddy laundry rooms, non-existent parking and poor management. Read here what others have to say about Park La Brea.


Click here to go the official page of Park La Brea.

Los Angeles Center Studios


Los Angeles Center Studios is a huge studio for film, TV and commercial production built on a 20 acre land. It provides a supportive environment for the developing independent elements belonging to the entertainment business. It’s located close to Beaudry Avenue and W. 6th Street.

Los Angeles Center Studios

Los Angeles Center Studios

This project has been described as the largest independent film studio with an office space of 450,000 square feet. The 12 –story office tower added 900,000 square feet at the end of 2002.
The $ 105 million project has a 400-seat theater, a 40-seat screening room, a spa center, facilities for dry cleaning and car wash along with a pet friendly campus among others.


The place has organized events for distinguished clients like Sony, Maxim Magazine, Activision, Electronic Arts, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the Magic Johnson Foundation.


Commercial real estate experts in Los Angeles are optimistic about the market this year. This sector continues to offer lucrative yields compared to alternative vehicles of investment. Despite a poor US economy, a majority of investors are of the view that the commercial real estate sector is favorably priced and an excellent play. The largest commercial real estate sector seems to be office buildings with many Asian investors banking heavily upon it.


In addition to the top ten biggest commercial real estate projects in Los Angeles, an important development is taking place in Malibu with global investors showing keen interest in a massive piece of raw land appropriate for commercial development. The site known as the Wave Property sits on a 9.2 acre sprawling area and is on La Paz lane adjacent to the Los Angeles County Courthouse with the asking price standing at $ 14 million.



According to real estate broker, Colliers international, the seller is an alliance that is dissolving by the order of the court and the land is an asset that has to be sold off. The members of this alliance include Paul Shoop Family Trust, First American Title Company and Pepperdine University. Chris Maling, Colliers broker said that investors from India, China, Qatar and United Arab Emirates are showing a huge curiosity.


The commercial real estate sector in Los Angeles seems to be upbeat with more and more projects lined up for the next couple of years. Let’s wait and watch to find the new record breaking projects in the history of Los Angeles.

Diane is a highly-qualified translator of the English, Italian and Spanish languages. She has studied extensively in Italy and Switzerland. She writes about a variety of financial services industries including insurance. She has a love of life and a curiosity that drives her both personally and professionally.

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