Moinian Group Buys L.A.’s Jewelry Center

The Moinian Group has purchased the International Jewelry Center building from Hertz Investment Group Inc. for $144 million, the Los Angeles Business Journal reports.

Hertz Investment purchased the building (known as the “550 Building” beased on its address 550 South Hill St.) in 1996 for $24.5 million when the building was 60 percent occupied, real estate investor Judah Hertz, who heads his namesake Los Angeles-based company, told the newspaper. The sale closed March 15.

The sale of the 400,000-square-foot, 16-story building breaks down to about $360 per foot. The building, which fronts Pershing Square in the L.A. Jewelry District, is now 100 percent occupied with more than 300 jewelry business tenants, the newspaper reports.

“It is one of the leading jewelry centers in the world,” said Carl Muhlstein, executive vice president at Cushman & Wakefield Inc., who represented Hertz Investment in the transaction. “It is a gateway location to all of the Pacific Rim, South American and U.S. jewelry trade.”

The building is considered to be the only downtown jewelry mart built specifically for the jewelry business, it includes amenities such as natural gas hookups to power blow torches and secure parking for customers, the newspaper reports.

There are nearly 5,000 jewelry businesses downtown, many located on Hill and Olive streets. Other key marts include the Los Angeles Jewelry Mart and the California Jewelry Mart.