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Carter Hawley Hale Stores, parent company of Weinstock's, the Broadway and the Emporium, will close its corporate offices in San Francisco and lay off as many as 300 employees there in a plan designed to steer the company out of bankruptcy.

A Weinstock's spokesman said the move will not affect its three stores in Utah, which he said will continue to operate as usual. The department store chain employs some 600 at its downtown, Fashion Place and Ogden City Mall stores.The West's largest chain of department stores said it will move its headquarters from the "L.A. Law" tower to East Los Angeles. All merchandising will be directed by President H. Michael Hecht in Los Angeles, where the parent of the Broadway and other department store chains is based.

Up to 300 of the 400 employees at its Emporium-Weinstocks headquarters in San Francisco will be laid off.

Centralization, to be phased in over six months, is the centerpiece of the company's plan to emerge from the Chapter 11 protection from creditors it sought in February 1991. The plan will be filed this spring in bankruptcy court, Carter Hawley Chairman Philip M. Hawley said.

"I would hope we'll be filing our plan in the next 90 days - possibly earlier than that," Hawley said in an interview. "We want to be out of Chapter 11 by late summer."

He said he expects the reorganization and the already announced consolidation of the Broadway Southwest into the Broadway to result in annual savings of $25 million to $30 million.

Its relatively speedy exit from Chapter 11 proceedings results largely from the agreement of Carter Hawley's unsecured creditors to sell their debt for 47 cents on the dollar to the Zell-Chilmark Fund, established by Chicago businessman Sam Zell to bail out troubled companies.

In return for assuming the debt obligation, the fund will become majority owner.