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High-rise penthouses sit empty in downtown L.A., relics from a different era

July 19, 2010 |  6:49 pm

The chief executives at Atlantic Richfield Co., the oil company once based in Los Angeles, ran their international empire from some of the most regal corporate offices ever created in Southern California.

With Arco's 20-foot ceilings, dark wood paneling and private rooftop helipad, "this was corporate America as people thought of it," said Kent Handleman of Thomas Properties Group Inc., the building's landlord.

That was then. Nowadays, the landlord can't find a renter for the space's 1970s-era sumptuousness.

There are also plenty of other catbird seats for choosy chief executives to pick from. Penthouse office floors with drop-dead views are vacant in some of the best office buildings in Los Angeles County, a sign of the troubled economic times and the gulf between what landlords think their top-shelf product is worth and what tenants are willing to pay.

Read the full story here.

--Roger Vincent

Photos: Scene from downtown L.A. penthouse suits. Lawrence K. Ho / L.A. Times. More photos here.

More downtown news:

--Curbed L.A. has images of either a distinctive or disastrous building design that might grace the downtown L.A. skyline.

--L.A. Observed reports that the Garment & Citizen newspaper is closing down.