April 16, 2015 | 03:00PM PT
The new name — which replaces the Museum Square moniker — is being unveiled Thursday with a dedication ceremony that includes SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard, SAG-AFTRA national executive director David White, SAG Foundation president JoBeth Williams, Los Angeles Councilman Tom LaBonge and Jerome Snyder of Oschin Snyder Partnership, which owns 5757 Wilshire Blvd.
The renaming also includes a 46-by-40-foot rendering of the guild’s year-old logo.
SAG has occupied the building since 1993, while AFTRA moved in four years later. The performers unions merged in 2012.
“It is a location that has served us well as a national headquarters over the years,” White told Variety. “It is centrally located for a significant percentage of our members, and there is a lot of exciting development in the area so it’s a good short- and long-term locale for us. Given our competitive lease arrangement, it was truly a no-brainer for us to stay here, particularly since we obtained the naming rights to the building at no additional cost.”
White noted that following the merger in 2012, the union had considered finding a new location but decided to stay after a thorough review. He said the building can accommodate all the guild’s needs with its large boardrooms, membership lobby, new SAG Foundation offices on the top floor and the SAG-AFTRA Credit Union offices.
The lease agreement, signed last year, combined the two legacy leases of AFTRA and SAG into one and extended it to 2026. That agreement includes naming rights and what the union called a “highly competitive” rate per square foot and a “generous” tenant improvement allowance.
Commercial real estate brokers Cushman & Wakefield administered the deal.
Williams noted that the SAG Foundation Los Angeles offices have been relocated to the 10th floor, which includes casting and branding workshops for members and BookPALS training.
The building opened in 1948 as Prudential Square, home to the western office of Prudential Insurance Co. It was designed by architects Walter Wurdeman and Welton Becket and was the tallest and largest privately owned building in the city when it opened. A piece of the Rock of Gibraltar — the symbol of Prudential — is located in the ground floor lobby.
Prudential moved to a larger location in 1982 and the building was renamed Museum Square.
The building will now be called The SAG AFTRA Plaza…ah, except on TNT and TBS where it will be called the SAG Plaza!
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