Originally opening as the Metropolitan Theater in 1923 and standing as a movie theater for decades in Hermosa Beach before changing hands numerous times, the property known as the “Bijou Building” was recently sold for $18 million, according to Newmark Knight and Frank (NKF), which brokered the sale.
The 23,172-square-foot, three-story mixed use office/retail building was sold by Federal Realty Investment Trust to 1221 Hermosa Ave., LLC.
"This asset represented a prime opportunity for an investor to own a historical, adaptive reuse property that is an irreplaceable fixture within downtown Hermosa Beach," said Ryan Plummer, from NKF, in a statement.
According to a press release, the “neo-classical style building” has been upgraded to attract a modern tenant and is currently 94 percent occupied by Chase Bank, Beach City Capital, Steel Partners, among others.
Brad Feld, also from NKF, added, "The scarcity of assets available for purchase in this coastal market contributed to a highly competitive bidding process as bidders appreciated not only the uniqueness of the property but also the opportunity to add value over the short and long-term."
The Metropolitan Theater, which was built by Richard Douglas King, later became the Hermosa Theatre in the early 1930s. It was still open as a movie theater and a sometimes concert hall when it became known as the Bijou in 1983, according to an article in The Daily Breeze. The Bijou finally closed its doors after years of struggles in December 1996.
The interior was eventually gutted and over the years it was home to coffee shops, retail spaces, Gallery C, which opened as an art gallery in 2003, and the current main tenant Chase Bank, which opened in 2013.
The building is considered a Hermosa Beach Historic Landmark.