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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Onni Closes Monday on $105M Purchase of Times HQ

Editor’s note: This story was updated to reflect the deal being finalized Monday.

Tribune Media Co. finalized its sale of the Los Angeles Times building to Onni Group on Monday for at least $105 million.

Onni could eventually tack on another $10 million if it is able to secure entitlements to build apartments in place of a 1970s-era chunk of the building, according to a source familiar with the transaction.

The 750,000-square-foot complex has been home to the Times since 1935. The sale to Onni, a Vancouver-based developer that has a slew of projects downtown, marks the first time that the property has traded out of the hands of a media company.

Onni Chief Financial Officer Sam Parrotta confirmed that the transaction closed on Monday.

“We’ve been in the L.A. market for a number of years, and we’re excited about the prospects of all our projects,” he said.

He declined to discuss specific plans for the Times building.

The price dropped at least twice during recent negotiations. The sale to Onni was initially pegged at about $120 million, according to a source familiar with Onni’s original plans. A previous deal, for about $140 million, was struck in December but came undone about three months later, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Gary Weitman, spokesman for Chicago-based Tribune Media, declined to comment, as did the broker marketing the property, Stephen Somer of Eastdil Secured. Tribune said in its second quarter earnings statement, released in August, that it expected the sale of the building to close by the end of September.

Cobbled together over generations, the massive Times complex comprises a moderne-style structure along Spring Street built in 1935; an adjoining tower constructed in 1948; a brown, boxy building on the western side of the property completed in 1973; and an adjoining parking structure.

Times spokeswoman Hillary Manning said via email in June that the newspaper held a long-term lease with options to renew, but would be interested in “exploring a new arrangement.”

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