444 S. Flower St.

444 S. Flower St.

Citigroup Inc. is moving out of the Citigroup Center at 444 S. Flower St. in downtown Los Angeles to 29,000 square feet at nearby One California Plaza at 300 S. Grand Ave., according to sources.

Citigroup currently leases nearly 71,000 square feet at its namesake building according to CoStar Group Inc.

Citigroup’s move is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2019, according to Thomas Ricci, managing principal of development and construction at Coretrust Capital Partners, which owns Citigroup Center.

Citigroup will vacate around 55,000 square feet of space in the Flower Street building, but retain more than 10,0000 square feet as part of a bank branch, Ricci said.

The bank’s original lease at Citigroup Center was signed more than 30 years ago, Ricci said.

Big banks have been reducing their headcount and floor space as more customers use mobile banking. Citigroup in particular has focused on digital banking.

The New York-based bank’s new landlord will be downtown-based Rising Realty Partners and Colony Capital, which bought One Cal Plaza last year for $459 million, or nearly $442 per square foot.

Thomas McDonald, an executive vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., represented Citigroup in the new lease negotiations while Josh Wrobel, managing director at JLL, represented Rising Realty Partners, according to sources.

Telephone messages left with Citigroup, McDonald and Wrobel were not immediately returned.

The bank’s move also will give Coretrust the opportunity to offer signage on the 48-story, 914,000-square-foot tower.

“Those opportunities don’t come along all that often,” Ricci told the Business Journal. “We’re open to thoughts and ideas and suggestions.”

Citigroup Center was built in 1981 and was featured in the “L.A. Law” television drama that ran from 1986 to 1994.

“We and our partner Colony Capital are thrilled to welcome Citi, a prestigious, global bank to One Cal Plaza, one of the premier Class A skyscrapers in DTLA. Citi’s arrival will coincide with the completion of a series of exciting building improvements and amenities that will further the property’s appeal to existing and future tenants,” Christopher Rising, founder and president of Rising Realty Partners.

Real estate reporter Ciaran McEvoy can be reached at cmcevoy@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 556-8337.