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A bid to gain protected status for three Los Angeles Times buildings moved forward Thursday when the Cultural Heritage Commission agreed to consider an application to make them historic-cultural monuments.

Monument status could hinder a plan to redevelop the downtown L.A. block where they stand. The property is owned by Onni Group, which purchased the former Times Mirror Square in 2016 with plans to redevelop it.

The Times, now a tenant of Onni in its historic home, is nearly finished moving to El Segundo, where it will occupy a building owned by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, the new owner of The Times.

Onni’s proposal calls for retaining the oldest of the structures — two Art Deco-style buildings that were constructed on the east side of the block along Spring Street in the 1930s and 1940s and include The Times’ newsroom. The upper-floor offices would be refurbished, with the ground floors converted to restaurants, shops and a grocery store.

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