The Breakdown

Explaining Southern California's economy

The tallest building in Los Angeles sold to Singapore-based developer for $367.5 million

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Overseas Union Enterprise is the Singapore-based developer that's buying the U.S. Bank Tower and what the Wall Street Journal says are "some related properties" for $367.5 million. 

The tower, at 73 stories and just over 1,000 feet, is the tallest in Los Angeles, the tallest in California, and the tallest west of the Mississippi. It was named as a terrorist target in an abandoned version of the 9/11 plot that would have entailed numerous additional aircraft hijackings.

An iconic feature of the L.A. skyline, the tower isn't necessarily a popular one for corporate tenants: it's currently just a little over half occupied.

The building was originally named the "Library Tower" due to being constructed in conjunction with the development of the L.A. Central Library, which is across the street. Completed in 1989 at a cost of $350 million, the skyscraper was renamed in 2003 when U.S. Bancorp took over its lease. 

Overseas Union Enterprises is buying the tower from MPG Office Trust and has already parted with a $7.5 million deposit on a deal that should close by the end of June, according to Reuters. MPG is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that's the largest manager of office properties in Downtown Los Angeles.

MPG didn't return a call for comment about the announcement of the U.S. Bank Tower deal.

The company has been shedding properties since last year in an effort to bolster its financials. Reuters reported that MPG had earlier said that it wouldn't sell the U.S. Bank Tower, but that its $260 million loan on the building was maturing on July 1 of this year and was in danger of default.

MPG's market performance since 2008 has been less than stunning. After peaking above $40 per share before the financial crisis, MPG's stock price slid below $1 during the downturn. 

It's recovered very slightly in the past four years and closed down on Monday, at $2.65 per share.

Follow Matthew DeBord and the DeBord Report on Twitter. And ask Matt questions at Quora.

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