One of the most sought-after real estate parcels in Downtown Los Angeles, a car wash located across the street from L.A. Live, has been sold for nearly $25 million.
The 36,300-square-foot lot was originally purchased for $525,000 in 1980, and the new owner plans to develop it into a high-rise hotel-and-residential complex at the busy crossroads of Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Downtown Los Angeles, the location of the city’s Skid Row and an area marked by parking lots, homeless street dwellers, prostitution, and drugs, has seen rapid growth and change over the past few years.
“This is a Los Angeles real estate trophy,” said the new owner of the car wash, Ben Neman, who bought the property from owner Robert Bush. “And we want to make it a much better trophy.”
The car wash operated for three decades and is the last of its kind among the dramatic transformation of the surrounding neighborhood which, until now, left it very much out of place.
Downtown Los Angeles reportedly has a hotel shortage, according to city officials hoping to attract more business to the Los Angeles Convention Center, which is just south of the Staples Center.
Neman hopes to transform the 36,300-square-foot lot now occupied by the car wash, two restaurants, and a ticket-selling business into 500,000 square feet of land which will eventually support a hotel and perhaps luxury condominiums in a tall structure with shops and restaurants at street level.
Residents who are sad to see the iconic car wash go can enjoy it for a while longer, as planning will take at least two years, during which the car wash will remain open.