Downtown feud decided

Bank of America has won its legal battle against its Arco Plaza landlord, Shuwa Corp., according to John Gibson, a partner at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, the bank's lead counsel.

Bank of America is the anchor tenant in Arco Plaza in downtown, where it has its Southern California headquarters. In the late 1980s, the city required high-rise building owners to retrofit their buildings with fire sprinklers and to remove the asbestos disturbed by the retrofit.

Shuwa attempted to pass through the cost of its retrofit to Bank of America. BofA refused to pay, arguing it would have added about $6 million to its rent over six years.

The bank and Shuwa arbitrated the dispute and retired California Supreme Court Justice David Eagleson held that Shuwa could not pass through the cost. The bank was awarded $383,538, plus attorneys' fees and court costs.

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