CIM Lands Big Law Firm for LA Tower

Munger, Tolles & Olson has signed a long-term lease for about 150,500 square feet of Two California Plaza.

By Scott Baltic, Contributing Editor

2CalPlazaTwo California Plaza, a/k/a 2 Cal, a 52-story, 1.37-million-square-foot Class A office building in downtown Los Angeles’ Bunker Hill area, will have a big new tenant, according to an announcement Tuesday by CIM Group, the tower’s owner. High-profile law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP has signed a long-term lease for about 150,500 square feet, specifically five full floors and a portion of a sixth.

CIM declined to release financial information about the lease transaction.

2 Cal is  at 350 S. Grand Ave. and MTO is currently headquartered at 355 S. Grand, so the law firms’ move, scheduled for early 2017, at least won’t be a long one. All 375 of MTO’s Los Angeles employees will be relocated.

MTO was founded in Los Angeles more than 50 years ago and has a national practice serving major corporate clients. The 200-attorney firm reportedly specializes in litigating “bet-the-company cases” and has been consistently ranked on The American Lawyer’s A-List.

2 Cal, which is certified LEED Platinum, had been owned by MPG Office Trust, but they allowed the property to go into receivership in early 2012. CIM bought the building in February 2014 as part of a seven-asset portfolio purchase from a special servicer.

CIM has been renovating and expanding the 2 Cal lobby to feature optical turnstiles, new lighting fixtures, Carrara marble flooring and new elevator cabs.

2 Cal is part of a two-tower office complex that shares a retail and restaurant pavilion including a 1.5-acre water court and performance plaza.

Spurred by a growing metro economy and more hiring, the downtown LA office market has seen “sizable asking rent increases,” according to a second-quarter report from Marcus & Millichap. The average Class A asking rent downtown rose 3 percent over the past year, though Class B/C rents rose dramatically more, by 10.9 percent, the report stated.