Robert F. Maguire III
Specialty: Commercial real estate developer
Recent deal: Playa Vista project
Robert F. Maguire III is responsible for many of L.A.’s most prominent developments including the MGM Plaza in Santa Monica, the rebuilding of the historic Central Library and the First Interstate Tower, the tallest highrise in the west.
But what he may be best known for is the project that got away the $8 billion Playa Vista development near Marina del Rey.
Maguire’s plans to develop the property, and the centerpiece DreamWorks SKG studio, hit a roadblock when he went into default on the loan and was unable to obtain new financing.
Last month, Gary Winnick, a Beverly Hills financier, pulled together a group of major investors to purchase the mortgage. Sources have said the Winnick group is prepared to foreclose on Maguire’s $195 million debt unless they are given an equity stake in the project.
Maguire refused to comment on the Playa Vista situation other than to say that “if reason prevails we’ll come to an agreement.”
Maguire graduated from UCLA in 1960 and went to work for Security Pacific Bank, where he rose to the level of vice president before starting his development company in 1965.
He made his mark developing office projects in partnerships with institutional tenants including IBM and Wells Fargo & Co.
An arts advocate, Maguire chaired the task force that led to the city’s requirement that major developers set aside 1 percent of their building’s value for the arts. He also served as president of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Despite Playa Vista, Maguire continues to be an active figure in commercial real estate. He recently oversaw the $25 million facelift of his Glendale Center office tower at 611 N. Brand. He says he hopes to develop an additional 1.1 million square feet of office space on adjoining land, and is now looking for anchor tenants.
“We do projects that are very high quality,” says Maguire.
– Hildy Medina