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West Los Angeles Office Market Catches Attention of Sunrise Real Estate Group

9 May 2014, 4:57 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

A West LA office building was recently acquired for a reported price of approximately $39 million. The off-market transaction was completed by a partnership consisting of Sunrise Real Estate Group with Robhana Group and 4M Investment Group who picked up the property from seller TPMC Realty Corp. Newmark Grubb Knight Frank representative Al Barasani handled the buyer’s end of the deal, while the seller represented itself. IDB Bank provided financing for the deal. The office asset last traded hands in 2008.

Located at 12301 Wilshire Boulevard in West Los Angeles, just west of the 405 Fwy, the 107,000-square-foot class A office building recently went through a capital improvement campaign. Former owner TPMC invested around $5.5 million in the Gensler-designed process which included upgrading the building’s exterior façade, and the renovation of the common areas, restrooms and lobby, while the elevators received brand new cabs, rentv.com reports.

In terms of occupancy, three quarters of the building’s office space is currently under contract. The facility’s tenant roster includes names such as film company Open Road Films and Opus Bank as well as a number of medical offices. Management duties for the property will be carried out by SRG Management, a subsidiary of the new owner.

Buyer Sunrise Real Estate Group has made the West LA building its second acquisition here this year, marking clear interest in the local real estate market. rentv.com noted that the recent West LA acquisitions mark a shift in the company’s usual investment moves, in which the company mostly focused on the San Fernando Valley market.

Image courtesy of tpmcrealty.com



Local Construct Breaks Ground on Innovative Housing Concept in Echo Park

2 May 2014, 2:52 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

A new housing project in Los Angeles’ Echo Park recently held a ground-breaking event, celebrating the innovative concept being introduced by the developer. Los Angeles-based Local Construct has started work on its Blackbirds micro-neighborhood. The community will be located on a site that formerly housed five rundown cottages in Echo Park.

One of the most important ideas on which the project is based upon is coming up with a walkable community focus, rather than on a car focus, which the developer believes is the current predominant trend in development in Los Angeles. The small lot urban infill development project aims to provide 18 new residential units situated in a heavily landscaped area. Blackbirds will become more than an average small lot multifamily infill project. It will try to introduce a new housing prototype in one of the city’s fastest growing neighborhoods.  

According to a press statement announcing the groundbreaking of Blackbirds, the community is the result of Barbara Bestor’s design. The units will feature pitched roofs that reference the rooflines of the area, creating an effect of “stealth density,” according to the architect Bestor. As previously mentioned, the multifamily project will not focus on the parking component, straying from the usual characteristics of residential development in the city, and of the West Coast which are mostly informed by the East Coast model.

Local Construct currently has projects underway in Boise, Idaho, and Eagle Rock, all of them based on the build smaller, build smarter mantra. The purpose is to provide modern, comfortable homes for the urban dweller employing high architecture, smart use of land and a new overall housing typology focused on the community, not on the units.

Image courtesy of blackbirdsla.com



New Affordable Housing Community by Affirmed Housing Group Holds Opening Ceremony

25 Apr 2014, 2:58 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

A brand new affordable housing community recently held an official grand opening in the presence of a number of local officials and backers. The Lotus Garden Apartments is Affirmed Housing Group’s latest affordable residential project in the L.A. metro area. The ceremony was attended by Councilman Gilbert A. Cedillo, the President and CEO of Affirmed Housing Group, James Silverwood, as well as Rushmore Cervantes, the executive director of the HCIDLA.

The all-affordable housing complex is located at 715-721 Yale Street and offers 60 units of residential space catered to families earning between 30 and 60 percent of the area’s median income. The community will include 15 studio units, 15 one-bedroom apartments, 10 two-bedroom apartments, as well as 20 three-bedroom apartments.

Lotus Garden Apartments will offer its residents an amenity package including a rooftop recreation area with panoramic views of the city, a tot lot, a barbecue area, and gardening plots; there will be a total of 4,000 square feet of open space. The ground level of the building will feature a community room, a computer lab and the management office occupying a total of 2,200 square feet.

Built to include a number of environmentally friendly fixtures such as high-efficiency boilers and solar water heating, the project will also aim to receive LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, and it will feature SoCal’s first Harding Steel CARMATRIX parking system. The innovative system maximizes the use of space and number of cars that can be stored and will hold a total of 63 vehicles. CARMATRIX is a semi-automated process wherein residents park their vehicles on platforms that then move vertically and horizontally for a stacking effect. Other advantages of the system are the fact that it will only take up to 60 percent of the space a normal parking garage would, while maintenance and operation costs amount to a mere $100/month.

Rendering courtesy of affirmedhousing.org



ALTO Real Estate Funds Completes Moreno Valley Retail Acquisition to Start New Investment Fund

14 Apr 2014, 3:11 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

ALTO Real Estate Funds has started its second investment vehicle in the American market with a retail purchase in Moreno Valley, CA. The New York-based private equity real estate investment company has closed on the purchase of TownGate Center for a fee of $47.2 million. The property will be the first to be part of the new ALTO FUND 2, the investment vehicle registered in the state of Delaware, and it has a target investment value of $100 million.

TownGate Center is located 55 miles east of L.A. in an intensely trafficked area. Totaling 300,000 square feet of retail space, the property currently features a vacancy rate of nine percent and a tenant roster of long-term retail and dining names such as AT&T, Chipotle, Chase Bank, ULTA, Time Warner Cable, Wells Fargo Bank, TJ Maxx and Dollar Tree. ALTO will put in place a new leasing strategy that is set to bolster rental income by 25 percent during the following five years. 

ALTO financed the acquisition with the use of $15 million of equity and a $32 million loan provided by Deutsche Bank at a fixed interest rate at 4.55 percent.

The ALTO FUND 2 started out with an initial $33 million back in January, with the closing of the final stage of fundraising next month. The fund’s parent company has already invested in 15 different commercial properties, with its current portfolio totaling 2.1 million square feet and a total value of $330 million. The property has sold its stake in six different properties, the most notable being the sale of a Manhattan retail condominium worth $50 million. The fund is currently set to add more deals during the next few months in the California and Colorado markets.   

Image courtesy of Google Maps 



Brentwood Capital Partners Sells Iconic Citizen News Building in Hollywood

8 Apr 2014, 1:23 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

A historic Los Angeles office building was the object of one of the most recent real estate transactions to take place in the city. Buyer SE Edinger LLC paid a fee of $14.5 million for the Hollywood property. The property was sold by Brentwood Capital Partners, a full service real estate investment, development and management company. The two parties involved in the transaction were represented by Industry Partners and Coldwell Banker Commercial WESTMAC.  

The subject of this transaction is the home of Hollywood’s first ever newspaper, the Citizen News Building. The aging property offers the new owner a 48,900 square-foot office asset in a prime location at 1545 Wilcox Avenue at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. The 1930-built art deco styled property is the result of architect Francis D. Rutherford’s design. According to rentv.com, the building that housed the local Citizen News newspaper between 1935 and 1968, has gone through a multi-million dollar renovation process in 2006 that was meant to reposition the building and make it attractive to the demand from tenants in the media and entertainment sectors.

Given the recent upswing and demand for creative office space in the greater Los Angeles market, the property’s 16-foot high ceilings, skylights, operable windows and polished concrete floors have been great assets in the process of signing tenants. At the time of the transaction, the building had a six percent vacancy rate, placing it in the upper tier of office properties in the area. The Citizen News Building’s tenant roster includes names such as Larson Studios and Partizan Entertainment, confirming the interest of the entertainment industry in properties of this type.

Image courtesy of bcpmgt.com







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