An Arts District landmark that was among the neighborhood's first properties to be converted into housing during the early 1980s will be transformed back into commercial space, brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield announced yesterday.

In a roughly $20-million transaction, a joint venture partnership between New York-based LIVWRK and Daniel Kotzer of Los Angeles has acquired two buildings at 800-810 Traction Avenue.  The two structures, which have a combined size of approximately 63,100 square feet, are slated to reopen as Class-A office space in early 2023.

“This is such a great story of this new joint venture formed between childhood best friends who have created a fantastic indoor/outdoor vision for this versatile Arts District property that will cater to the growing business needs of this thriving, walkable neighborhood with best in class branding opportunities,” said McKenna Gaskill, an associate with Cushman & Wakefield who is part of the team that has been retained for project leasing. “This partnership brings superior qualifications and deep experience in developing this type of unique, modern, cultural space.”

800-810 Traction AvenueGoogle Maps

LIVWRK and Kotzer, who intend to rebrand the property as AtTraction, will invest in changes to the facades and entrances of both buildings, while also adding a rooftop patio deck to 800 Traction and a private patio space to 810 Traction.  A parking lot serving both buildings will be retained.

The completed project will consist of a five-story building totaling 53,400 square feet - with floor plates ranging from 7,500 to 10,700 square feet - and a two-story, 9,700-square-foot building.  Both could include ground-floor commercial space.

The property, which was formerly home to the Joannes Brothers Company, and later occupied by the Los Angeles Desk Company, was among the first buildings transformed into lofts after the Los Angeles City Council adopted its Artist in Residence Ordinance in the early 1980s.  DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners purchased the buildings in for $20 million in 2017, and controversially issued eviction notices to longtime tenants - a group of Japanese-American artists - shortly afterward.

LIVWRK, which is based in Brooklyn, was previously slated to purchase the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza shopping mall, only to drop its bid following vocal community backlash.

The Traction Avenue property, if transformed to office space, would attempt to build off of the neighborhood's growing cachet among tech and media companies.  Warner Music Group, Honey, and Spotify have already leased space at nearby properties, and several large blocks of space are planned are under construction near the Sixth Street Viaduct.