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Miracle Mile landlord still hungers for eateries: Wayne Ratkovich blames economy for holding up restaurants.

REAL estate developer Wayne Ratkovich still has big plans for his 5900 Wilshire Blvd. office tower on Miracle Mile. But his efforts to lease space to a fine-dining restaurant and build a pavilion for another eatery have been delayed by the downturn.

In 2007, Ratkovich, president of real estate developer and investor Ratkovich Co., told the Business Journal that he wanted to build a restaurant pavilion and gateway area for the building at the corner of Wilshire and Ogden Drive. The pavilion and gateway would complement the entrance of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art across the street. He also has long wanted to bring a fine-dining establishment to a vacant 7,500-square-foot satellite building that is just east of the 32-story tower.

"Our plans are still very in play, we wish the economy were a little bit better, but we deal with what we have," he said. "We wanted to have it open this year, but a lot of things have been on hold because of the economy."

But that doesn't mean Ratkovich hasn't been busy: Los Angeles Magazine recently signed a 10-year renewal for its offices at the tower. Also, Gateway Newstands has signed a 10-year lease for ground-floor space, where it will open a newsstand and sundry shop.

The building is 74 percent leased. Ratkovich is hoping to improve on that; meanwhile, he's confident he can weather the downturn.

"We do not have a highly leveraged building so we can make it through these down markets comfortably," he said.

Ratkovich hopes to lease the satellite building sometime in 2011, with the pavilion construction and opening likely to follow.

The plan for the pavilion and gateway area has an unusual design, featuring a distinctive trellis system. Venice-based architecture firm Greg Lynn Form designed the plans.

In 2007, Ratkovich said the project would cost about $7 million. He now says the plans could be modified to "make it less expensive."

Staff reporter Daniel Miller can be reached at or (323) 549-5225, ext. 263.
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Title Annotation:DEVELOPMENT
Author:Miller, Daniel
Publication:Los Angeles Business Journal
Date:Aug 23, 2010
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