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Thomas Russell

LA Mart sold to investment group

New owner plans to stabilize and grow the showroom business

LOS ANGELES - The LA Mart has been sold by Vornado Realty Trust, parent company of MMPI, to a local investment group, PHR LA Mart LLC for a reported sum of $55 million, according to the CoStar Group.

The building, located at 1933 S. Broadway, is currently 60 percent occupied by a combination of whole gift, home and design showrooms, and office spaces, including a large amount of space leased by the County of Los Angeles for its Children and Family Services Department.

The new owner, whose name has not been released, is committed to stabilizing and growing the showroom business and the gift and home industry at LA Mart within the year, according to Jim Nahin, vice president leasing at LA Mart. "After a year or more of uncertainty here at the LA Mart, we finally have a solid foundation," Nahin told Gifts & Decorative Accessories, one of Casual Living's sister publications. "We finally have solid ground. It's great news for the tenants, employees and the industry."

Nahin added the new owner wants to bring back any tenants who may have left LA Mart throughout the past year because of the uncertainty of new ownership and welcome them back. "He really wants me to pursue those people and let them know that they are welcome back and to join the family again."

Once all plans are in motion, LA Mart is not going away anytime soon. "Moving forward, we really want to stabilize and grow the existing tenants that are here," Nahin said. "I will be attending markets wherever I can and make sure that people know that LA Mart is still in the game, and we'll be here to play."

Vornado will reportedly use the proceeds from the sale of the LA Mart and some of its other properties, including the Washington and Boston Design Centers, to help fund its purchase of 666 Fifth Avenue in New York City.

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