L.A.’s Most Valuable Property Is the Opposite of a Glamorous Mansion

A sprawling, gritty oil refinery in El Segundo tops this year’s list of the county’s most valuable parcels

Los Angeles County is dotted with exquisite private estates, sparkling downtown skyscrapers, and elegant historic structures. According to a list released by the Los Angeles Business Journalhowever, none of them rank as the property with the highest assessed value in the county. Instead, that honor goes to a sprawling Chevron oil refinery in El Segundo.

The industrial parcel covers some 3,453,052 square feet of beachfront land, according to the L.A. County Assessor’s office. The El Segundo refinery dates to 1911, when what was then Standard Oil purchased the plot for what would become only the second oil refinery in the state of California. Today, it’s the largest-production oil refinery on the West Coast, pumping out nearly 270,000 barrels per day.

Other, newer oil refinery properties also make the ‘most valuable’ list. The PBF Energy refinery in Torrance comes in at number six, a Valero refinery in Wilmington ranks eighth (tied for that spot with the Children’s Hospital complex on Sunset Boulevard), a Tesoro refinery in Carson is tenth, the Phillips 66 plant in Carson is 19th, Tesoro’s Wilmington refinery is at 21, and the Philips 66 refinery in Wilmington is number 32.

It’s a reminder that Los Angeles has long been connected to the oil business. Even the second most valuable property on the list attests to that. The J. Paul Getty Center holds that spot; the Getty Trust’s other property, the Getty Villa, ranks 34. The Getty is among the world’s best-funded arts institutions–and it owes its very existence to the fortune J. Paul Getty amassed as 20th century oil tycoon.

The 10 Most Valuable Properties in L.A. Based on 2019 Assessed Value, According to the Los Angeles Business Journal

  1. Chevron Refinery, El Segundo
  2. J. Paul Getty Center, Los Angeles
  3. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles
  4. LAX, Los Angeles
  5. Universal Studios, Universal City
  6. PBF Energy Torrance Refinery, Torrance
  7. Westfield Century City, Los Angeles
  8. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles / Valero Refinery, Wilmington (tie)
  9. Tesoro Carson Refinery, Carson

RELATED: Above the Surface and Below, L.A. Is Still an Oil Town

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