Preeminent Koreatown developer and landlord Jamison Properties is looking to sell the Westlake Theatre, a historic building near MacArthur Park that the company acquired a few years ago for potential redevelopment.
The listing, held by CBRE, emerged last week and markets the property as a multi-tenant retail or adaptive reuse opportunity. The listing, which was not priced, highlights the uniqueness of the thriving West Lake submarket and old movie theaters. A portion of the building originally constructed in 1925 is now recognized on the City of Los Angeles Historic Places and on the National Register of Historic Places.
“The building … has layers of classical design, incorporating Assyrian motifs and dramatic whimsy,” the listing reads. “Many original design elements remain intact, including the Art Deco ticket booth (added in 1935) and much of the interior.”
The half-acre site is located at 634-640 South Alvarado Street, on the east side of MacArthur Park, near the Westlake/MacArthur Park subway station.
It’s in one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in Los Angeles and the center of a recent plethora of multifamily developments, as the area is relatively affordable by L.A. standards. In March, two developers separately submitted plans for a nearby six-story condominium project, and plans for the area last year included proposals for a two-building, 238-unit complex and an eight-story complex that will Replaces the Auto Repair Shop and Flower Pavilion.
The community is currently under construction with more than 1,000 units across 17 projects, according to the CBRE listing.
After first opening in the 1920s, the roughly 2,000-seat venue operated as a movie theater and theater for decades, According to the Los Angeles Conservancy. In recent years the building has served as a swap meeting.
Family-owned Jamison, one of Los Angeles’ largest landlords and one of its busiest developers, bought the historic site in 2018 for $2 million from the city’s redevelopment agency. The company has since raised multiple rounds of funding, but has apparently come up with plans for a rebuild, according to property records.
The company did not respond to a request for comment, but it may be looking for additional cash to help with other development projects. After a notable multifamily development in and out of Koreatown through the pandemic, the company is still eyeing other major projects.
In the past few weeks, the company has submitted plans for a major office-to-residential renovation in Carthay’s West Side neighborhood and another for the 33-story former ARCO tower in downtown Los Angeles. into nearly 700 apartments.