The original Metropolitan Water District Headquarters occupies an entire city block on Sunset Boulevard. It was designed in 1963 by William Pereira. An eight story, 120,000 square foot office tower was constructed to Pereira’s design in 1973. The entire campus bears the distinct, mid-century design that distinguishes other Pereira structures including the original LA County Museum of Art, CBS Television City and the TransAmerica building in San Francisco.
The MWD moved out of the Pereira campus in 1993. The buildings were eventually sold to Holy Hill Church who converted the low rise section but subdivided the parcel with the plan to convert the tower to a stand alone senior housing development. Though the air-rights subdivision was completed and entitlements obtained, the church members who were to develop the tower failed to do so and sold the building to a developer who obtained permits to convert the building to 92 market rate condos.
The tower has stood vacant for nearly twenty years. The Church sued the condo developer over parking issues and, though the developer prevailed in court, the protracted legal battle and the collapse of the condo market pushed the developer into bankruptcy and allowed Linear City the opportunity to acquire this unique structure, complete with entitlements and permits.
Since purchasing the building eight months ago, Linear City has resolved all the outstanding legal claims on the parking. Working with architect David Lawrence Gray, Linear City has reconceived the plans to create more useable space, add a ground level café and increase the energy efficiency of the building.
Linear City has secured construction financing from PNC Bank. Preliminary demolition and site preparation have been completed. Construction will begin in October with completion scheduled for February, 2014.