Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Los Angeles Times building’s sale closes
Jerome Adamstein / Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Times building in downtown L.A. has been sold to Onni Group of VanThe Los Angeles Times building in downtown Los Angeles has been sold to Onni Group of Vancouver, Canada.
The Times has published in those buildings since 1935. Times Mirror Square will be redeveloped into a offices and retail and residential units.
The agreement for the 202 W. 1st Street historic property was signed in June, but the deal with Tribune Media didn’t close till Monday night.
The paper’s headquarters is a mix of five interconnected structures that fill an entire city block, bounded by Broadway and Spring and 1st and 2nd streets. A redevelopment would dramatically remake the City Center neighborhood by turning the aging buildings occupied by The Times and other businesses into a bustling, mixed-use center and maybe razing a few of the structures.
Onni owns at least eight other properties — including offices, apartments and an extended-stay hotel – in downtown Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Times — located downtown since its founding as the Los Angeles Daily Times in 1881 — has a lease until 2018, with two consecutive five-year options beyond that.
Onni was founded by Italian immigrant Inno De Cotiis with the company’s name a reverse of his first name.
De Cotiis, along with three of his brothers, had run the Vancouver developer Viam, but the brothers split the company up and went their separate ways.
Onni has offices in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago and Ensenada, Mexico, and is run by Inno’s son Rossano.
The Times building sale was triggered by the 2014 spinoff of The Times, the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers from Tribune Co. into a separate company, Tribune Publishing, now known as Tronc.
Tribune Co., which was renamed Tribune Media, retained the Times building and other real estate, including The Times’ downtown printing facility off Olympic Boulevard.
In Detroit Jim was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for getting Ahmad Rahman, a Black Panther imprisoned for 20 years for a murder he didn’t commit, released from prison.
Matthew Bodine played Jim in the "Redeemer," a 2002 USA Network cable movie about Jim's series on Rahman.
Jim has two adult daughters, opera singer Annie in New York and artist Laura in Los Angeles.
Their parents, Jim and Kathy, divorced after 30 years of marriage in 1999. Jim married Carrie, a TV and film executive. They have a son and daughter, who was born on Jim’s 55th birthday.
Jim still remembers Pat Englehart's Denobili cigars, Ben Maidenburg's newsroom rants and Ben James' naps at the City Desk.