Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Geragos, Kabateck Firms Move Into Historic Downtown Building
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The law firms of Geragos & Geragos and Kabateck Brown Kellner yesterday opened for business at their new home inside a historic downtown-Los Angeles landmark building once used as a fire station.
After recently purchasing the renovated 1912 edifice for $10 million, high-profile Los Angeles-based attorneys Mark Geragos and Brian Kabateck relocated their practices this weekend to the 644 South Figueroa Street property once housing Engine Company No. 28.
Geragos told the MetNews yesterday that both lawyers had been renting office in the Bunker Hill area of downtown, but recently decided to buy the Engine Company No. 28 building because of its historic and architectural value, as well as its proximity to rapidly-developing areas of downtown.
“It’s got such a presence in the history of L.A, and both of us have always and had our practices in downtown L.A.,” he said, noting that the $10 million price was “a fair deal.”
“With all the development along the south corridor—with the Staples Center and with the L.A. Live [revitalization project] and all of the construction that’s going on down there—this has really become the most vibrant part of L.A., and that had a real attraction to us as well.”
“[The move] demonstrates our commitment to downtown L.A. and the fact that we think that downtown L.A. is going to increase in value and prestige.”
Both attorneys said they expect the new location to enhance their business.
Geragos pointed out that ownership of the building gives the lawyers complete control of the premises, giving them greater freedom and opportunity to implement cutting edge technologies in their practices.
“It allows us to be masters of our own destinies,” he said. “We have plans on going completely paperless.”
Following its construction in 1912, the building was used as a fire station until 1969, and was renovated in the 1980s. Among the architecture preserved during the renovation, which took five years and was completed in 1989, was the building’s brick façade and the red brick flooring inside. The building’s unique features include street-level dual archways that once allowed fire trucks access to the building’s two metal doors.
In 1988, at the time of its completed renovations, the four-story building was recognized by the city as an historic-cultural landmark. For the last two decades, it has housed the Engine Company No. 28 restaurant.
Geragos, who has represented many high-profile clients including Susan McDougal and Scott Peterson, and Kabateck, a class action specialist, have worked together on numerous matters, including bringing federal class action lawsuits against New York Life Insurance and AXA Corporation on behalf of the heirs of Armenian genocide victims.
Geragos noted that practicing in the same building would allow them to work together more closely and to expand the scope and size of their practices.
“We’ve had more than a few people joke that what we do for a living is put out fires, so it’s appropriate that we’re in the Engine Company No. 28 [building].”
Copyright 2007, Metropolitan News Company