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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Brown

OC History - The Ziggurat

What on earth is that building in Laguna Niguel that looks like a Pyramid? Well, here you go!

The Ziggurat (completed in 1971), whose formal name is the Chet Holifield Federal Building (as of 1978), was built for North American Aviation who merged with Rockwell International during the construction of the project.

Rockwell International never occupied the building (multiple theories as to why), and the building sat empty for several years. In 1974, Rockwell offered to trade the building to the United States government to exchange three surplus government facilities of equal value located near Los Angeles International Airport, which they accepted.

The "Ziggurat" is currently the home to the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Homeland Security, ICE, and more. It's presently under-utilized with three thousand employees occupying space which can fit up to seven thousand.

The Federal Government has tried to sell this property multiple times and failed. As of late 2020, the Ziggurat is one of fourteen properties recommended for disposal, meaning changes are coming. There are rumors the building could transfer to Laguna Niguel, who could renovate or demolish it for mixed-use projects. It could also be wholesaled or sold for similar purposes by private developers. Some people want the unique architecture to remain and renovated, but given the disrepair, evidence of massive asbestos remediation needed, and more, that route is unlikely.

So will Laguna Niguel get some more cool Real Estate in the future? Time will tell, but that 92 acres of land could be prime for something special and, depending on what, great for Laguna Niguel.

BayBrook Realty is a brokerage located in Orange County, California. As a resident since 1977, and I've seen Orange County change and blossom into an amazing county. It's always fun to travel back in time and remember some of the sights of my youth. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. Follow my social media for more posts on Real Estate, Orange County History, and other fun things that pop into my head. - Brandon Brown - Broker / Owner


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