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Los Angeles pleased to nab creative firms

February 4, 2011 |  7:30 pm

Gensler_JewelBox_1 (2) 
Los Angeles city officials gathered Friday in a former bank building on Flower Street to bask in the pleasure of seeing another major creative firm move to Los Angeles.

The celebration was to officially announce that international architecture firm Gensler will move its Southern California headquarters to downtown L.A. Part of the appeal was the city's decision to exempt new businesses in town from paying gross receipts taxes for three years.

Just last week, Google announced that it would consolidate and expand its regional operations into a cluster of offices in the Venice area of L.A.

In both cases, the high-profile firms will be leaving swish Santa Monica, which has a well-earned reputation as a magnet for creative companies. Santa Monica is accustomed to being loved, not left, by companies in such fields as entertainment and the Internet.
CNP jewel box

For Gensler, the move to downtown’s City National Plaza offers an opportunity to remake a granite-clad jewel box of a building from the 1970s into a showplace of the firm's artistic vision. The early concept drawing from Gensler looks a world apart from the corporate vision Bank of America had almost 40 years ago.

-- Roger Vincent


Photos: The downtown Los Angeles office of Gensler as planned by the architecture firm (top) and the exterior of the building as it appears today.  

Credits: Gensler (top) and Thomas Properties Group.