By Kelsi Maree Borland | GlobeSt.com
Rising Realty Partners has cracked the code on historic office renovations. It’s phenomenal success with the PacMutual Building has sparked other historic renovation projects in the Downtown market. Currently, the firm is working on the CalEdison, formerly One Bunker Hill, and the Trust Building. To oversee the projects, Rising has tapped Adam Lev to lead the restoration. Lev, who worked on the Row in Downtown, sat down with us to talk about the two projects, how Rising is perfecting office and why historic projects resonate with office tenants.
GlobeSt.com: What is your vision for the Trust Building?
Adam Lev: As the workplace evolves, people move further away from grounding in any type of history that makes people tied to the past and tied other people. We want to emphasizing the features in the building and push forward with new, cutting edge technology. For example, the second floor of the building has 32-foot ceilings with vaults and a pneumatic pump system where they used to push documents through the building. We are keeping those historic elements in the building, so we have that strong history there. On the other side, we are incorporating roof top decks that are going to be available to all tenants, but are the kind of thing that you usually only see in multifamily or hospitality buildings. We are also going to have the luxury attaché, which is a concierge service that we have in the CalEdison building, and it really goes above and beyond what you would see in an office building. So, we are constantly pushing forward with new technology.
GlobeSt.com: I know that the CalEdison Building is nearly complete, and you had a similar vision to restore a historic project. How has the property been received in the market?
Lev: I think that the evidence of how it has been perceived in the market is the fact that we have had several new tenants move in. We are about to finish everything with the development plan. We have two patio decks opening on the building this fall, where a tenant will be able to lease space and have an incredible view of Downtown. So, we are still really excited about what is to come at CalEdison.
GlobeSt.com: Rising has really become know for restoring these historic buildings. Are you taking the same approach with these two projects?
Lev: This is an extension of what has worked, and we are taking it to new levels. The PacMutual Building, for example, has outdoor patios where people can congregate. The Trust Building is going to have that on the rooftop and have put those on multiple floors of the building as well. That is one example of something that has worked in the past and we are taking it to a new level. Other buildings have a concierge, but our concierge will literally plan your entire vacation for you and books everything for you, and gives you a written itinerary. Everything is from a past record of success, but taking it to new levels.
GlobeSt.com: The Trust Building is on the border of the Arts District, which is a little different than other areas of Downtown Los Angeles. How has the location played a role in the redevelopment?
Lev: The location is a cliché in real estate, but it is a cliché because it is so true. Spring Street was the historic financial area in Downtown decades ago, and in recent years, it has become a great center of retail and residential. This will be the first time that office has come to that level. I think that location couldn’t be any better from that perspective. There are also so many restaurants that are right next to us, and that is very exciting as well.
GlobeSt.com: Are you targeting creative and tech tenants for both projects?
Lev: We are, but we have also seen an increasing trend of what you would consider the more traditional tenants working with creative firms and their culture has started to change. Akerman for example, is a law firm that just moved into a full floor at the CalEdison building. They went with all same-size offices, regardless of level of seniority, and they moved into a creative historic building from a more traditional high rise. That is an example of someone that works directly with more traditional and media tenants, so their internal culture is following suit. Additionally, particularly at the Trust Building, we are getting a lot of interest from the cutting edge technology and media firms starting to look at downtown from areas like Silicon Beach and Santa Monica.