to Auction Woolworth Building in Downtown LA

The historic Woolworth Building at 719-725 South Broadway in downtown Los Angeles will go up for auction on March 10, according to

719Broadway-01 (1)The historic Woolworth Building at 719-725 South Broadway in downtown Los Angeles will go up for auction on March 10, announced Tuesday.

The online auction, on behalf of a private owner, also involves Starwood Mortgage Capital, which is a potential source of debt financing to the successful purchaser, Eric Paulsen, executive vice president and general manager of commercial real estate for, told Commercial Property Executive.

The starting bid for the four-story, 76,000-square-foot retail property is set at $4 million.

The building was completed in 1920 to a design by the architectural firm of Weeks and Day, which is probably best remembered for numerous hotels, apartment buildings and theaters in the San Francisco Bay area.

“The Woolworth Building is an iconic structure reminiscent of Old Hollywood,” Paulsen said in the release. “It’s intriguing to be able to sell a piece of history using real estate’s most cutting-edge online sales platform.”

The building has undergone more than $5 million in renovations in the past few years, Paulsen told CPE. Much of that was in 2011 in connection with the Los Angeles “Bringing Back Broadway” initiative, which aimed at restoring the historic downtown theater district.

The building’s renovation included an update to its 120-foot frontage and an interior update to highlight its Art Deco past with two historic staircases consisting of original terrazzo floors connecting the first floor with the basement.

The single-tenant retail space currently houses Ross Dress For Less, a national discount clothing retailer, with a guaranteed long-term net lease by Ross Stores Inc. Other recent or pending national retailers in the area include Acne Studios, Urban Outfitters and Whole Foods Markets.

Property tours are scheduled for Feb. 27, March 4 and March 6. The online auction starts at 9 a.m. PST on March 10 and concludes at 9 a.m. PT on March 12.

Though he notes that early indications of interest in an auction are not a reliable sign of who actually shows up to bid, Paulsen is optimistic that the Woolworth Building will see “heavy activity.”

“I’ve got a lot of eyeballs on it” already, he added.