No. 29

Prudential Puts Service Center Downtown

In a year when the downtown L.A. office market continued to flounder, one bright spot was Prudential HealthCare's signing of a lease in April for 300,000 square feet of space in the Garland Center building at 1200 W. Seventh St.

The building was formerly 100 percent occupied by First Interstate Bank, but much of the space became vacant after First Interstate was purchased by Wells Fargo Bank in 1996.

Prudential chose the site as one of its four customer-service centers nationwide, prompting real estate brokers to hail the move as a rare example of a company relocating into downtown L.A. rather than moving out.

For Prudential, the move was part of a national effort to consolidate dozens of smaller customer-service centers into four major facilities.

About 1,400 Prudential employees have moved into the space since the lease was signed.

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