It’s surprising, if not unheard of, for a developer to pour more than $80 million into restoring and renewing a 1960s-era tilt-up concrete printing plant that, at first glance, is indistinguishable from its massive, and prosaic, neighbors in the flatlands of a commercial park in California’s Orange County.
But Seth Hiromura, then with industrial property management company SteelWave, thought differently about the “historic ruin” in Costa Mesa. The original 361,000-square-foot building—really a sequence of buildings constructed over two decades—had been the Los Angeles Times’ Orange County headquarters, designed by William L. Pereira & Associates, one of Southern California’s preeminent midcentury architecture firms. The printing plant and adjacent newsroom closed in 2010 and were decommissioned in 2014. SteelWave bought them, and the surrounding 23 acres, three years later.