The old Post Office building in Downtown Santa Monica is once again under new ownership with plans to eventually reoccupy the landmarked building.
According to County records, the property was sold in December of last year to Allied Santa Monica LLC for $30,000,300. The former owners, SkyDance Productions, purchased the property in 2014 for about $27 million but never occupied the site.
Skydance Media produces TV shows and films, such as Star Trek Beyond, Mission Impossible Rogue Nation, World War Z and Grace and Frankie. They planned to use the building as their headquarters but said in June of last year that they had grown so fast, they were already too large to fit into the space. However, the company did apply to remodel the site.
The remodel would have reduced the first floor from 17,516 to 16,146 square feet, converted the 2,645-square-foot mezzanine level to an 8,508-square-foot second floor, added an 8,148-square-foot third floor and increased the basement from 13,807 to 16,516 square feet. The project proposed a new 32-foot-tall, 14,490-square-foot building to be built at the rear of the existing landmark building.
The SkyDance plans included a fence around the site and some construction work on the exterior landscaping began before the sale. That fence is complete and now circles the property. A construction fence remains around the site as does bare soil outside the building. No work began inside the building and no new work occurred once the property was put up for sale.
Entitlements for development are attached to the property, not a specific applicant, so the new owners could complete the proposed work, however architects HLW International have filed paperwork on behalf of the new owners for light demolition work to the interior of the building intended to remove drop-down ceilings in the basement, add lighting, install HVAC elements and demolish some partitions to make the space more desirable to prospective tenants.
Bruce Greene, a partner with Baker Hostetler LLP said his local law firm is representing a British company who formed Allied when they purchased the property.
Greene said his clients are still debating the final use for the building but the interior work will be required no matter who occupies the site.