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La Kretz Innovation Campus in Cleantech Corridor Secures Final Part of Financing, Set to Open in 2015

10 Jan 2014, 7:33 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

An initiative that promises to reignite the tech sector in L.A. recently received the go-ahead as financing for the project is finally in place. Thanks to U.S. Bank, the La Kretz Innovation Campus is now closer to reality as the last piece of the financial puzzle has been locked in. The banking giant has secured $14 million in New Markets Tax Credit for the La Kretz development project, which when completed will consist of a total investment of around $46 million. The project has received wide support from local officials, especially Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti.

The cleantech industry hub will take shape in L.A.’s established Cleantech Corridor, namely at 5th and Hewitt Streets. The facility aims at attracting young professionals in the field with a look at aiding the community as it becomes a hub for green industries in the city. The project is being financed in partnership with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Clearinghouse CDFI, Consortium America, Los Angeles Development Fund, and Urban Research Park CDE, as well as a sizable donation from Mort La Kretz, after whom the project was named.

When completed, in early 2015, the cleantech incubator will hold up to 40 clean tech companies, and it will create around 600 new jobs in one of the fastest growing sectors. The campus will include a 30,000 square foot facility, as well as demonstration centers, R&D labs, conference facilities, work force training facilities and additional space for companies that will be part of the cleantech hub.

The local support of the innovation campus comes as a result of its central role in the city’s current strategy for economic growth, the development of the Cleantech Corridor being one of the priorities of the local administration. Projects such as the La Kretz campus will attract new, high-paying jobs to an L.A. submarket where the focus is shifting to solving environmental problems and contributing to research going on around the globe.

Rendering courtesy of  laincubator.org 



Record-Breaking Land Deal Completed in Central L.A., Set to Become the Site of New LEED-Certified Industrial Complex

3 Jan 2014, 3:05 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

The Los Angeles real estate market recorded a milestone recently as the largest land deal in over a decade in the central area of the city was completed when Pacific Industrial, LLC acquired a large plot of land from the City of Bell. The purchase was announced by the local office of commercial real estate services provider, CBRE.

The buyer paid the City of Bell a purchase fee of $44 million for the 39 acres that are currently entitled for 840,390 square feet of mixed-use space. The site formerly served as the home of the World War II Cheli Air Force Base GSA site, and is at the moment vacant and undeveloped. Pacific Industrial was represented by aforementioned brokerage CBRE in the completion of the deal.

According to a recently issued press statement, the new owner will develop a Class A industrial campus on 25 acres of the newly acquired plot, as the first phase of its massive development project. This initial phase will include three buildings totaling 550,000 square feet of space. The second phase of the development will add another structure totaling 300,000 square feet of space located in the immediate proximity of the 710 freeway, with rail service a future option for the site. The company has set an October 2014 deadline for the first phase of development at the site.

Specifics on the end product according to the developer will include state-of-the-art commerce facilities, two-story office space, above-standard skylight counts to maximize the amount of daylight, and 100 percent concrete yard areas. The construction will be developed according to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED standards. A number of green features will be used in the development process to ensure its eco-friendly status such as: electric vehicle charging stations, solar-ready roofs and others meant to make the structure one of the most environmentally advanced industrial development projects in the state of California.



Los Angeles Hotels Trade Hands to Chinese Investors

20 Dec 2013, 7:50 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Southern California seems to be the perfect hospitality market for Chinese investors as two recent hotel deals were made by different companies entering the city’s real estate market. Chinese real estate developer Hazens Investment completed the acquisition of the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel for a fee of $96 million, while earlier this month the Torrance Marriott South Bay was acquired by the Sichuan Xinglida Group Enterprises Co. for $74 million.

Image courtesy of sheratonlax.com

The Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel is a 15-story facility that is located in the immediate vicinity of Los Angeles International Airport. According to the Los Angeles Times, the property was sold by an affiliate of Long Wharf Real Estate Partners, with representation from Maxim Hotel Brokerage Inc.

The 802-key Sheraton Gateway is the first property acquired by Hazens in the U.S. The new owner will keep Pyramid Hotel Group on as the hotel manager, but will carry out a number of improvements to the hotel. The lobby, common areas and guest rooms will be upgraded by Hazens, in an effort to maintain the facility’s appeal as a site for a number of business meetings.

Image courtesy of marriott.com

The Torrance Marriott South Bay is a 17-story property located near the Del Amo Fashion Center, an 8.4-acre mall, one of the largest properties of its kind in the entire U.S. The property was acquired by XLD Group, a subsidiary of Chinese real estate company Sichuan Xinglida Group Enterprises Co., an entity responsible for a number of mixed-use developments in China. The deal was brokered by Jones Lang LaSalle on behalf of seller DiamondRock Hospitality Co. The 487-key hotel was built in 1987 and underwent its most recent renovation in 2007.The new owner will give the property a makeover and raise its profile as a more upscale location, while Marriott will stay on as the operator.



Hines REIT Agrees to Purchase the Howard Hughes Center from Blackstone Group

19 Dec 2013, 12:02 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

With 2013 all but over, the Los Angeles real estate market looks set to end the year with a huge headliner as one of the largest office asset acquisitions that the city has seen this year is set to take place. The media has been buzzing over the past week with news that Hines Real Estate Investment Trust Inc. has agreed to purchase the Howard Hughes Center from current owner Blackstone Group LP for a fee of $506 million.

The Howard Hughes Center offers tenants 1.318,682 square feet of office space divided into five Class A office buildings located at 6080, 6060, 6701, 6100 and 6601 Center Drive. Located near the Howard Hughes Promenade, one of the most high-profile shopping spots in the area, the office complex was developed over 15 years between 1987 and 2002. The campus has a vacancy rate of 12 percent, with a tenant roster totaling 93 companies.

Houston-based Hines REIT Inc. has filed paperwork for the completion of this blockbuster deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which, according to Bloomberg.com, revealed that the deal will be closed by the 15th of January. The Howard Hughes Center last traded hands when current seller Blackstone acquired it back in 2006, part of a joint acquisition of Trizec Properties Inc., along with Brookfield Office Properties Inc.

The Los Angeles office market is finally showing signs of stabilization after a number of years during which vacancy rates have ballooned to a value of almost 17 percent. Data provided by Marcus and Millichap Real Estate Investment Services shows that, based on their forecast for the final quarter of 2013, the end of the year will mark a plateau for greater downtown’s vacancy rate.

Chart courtesy of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services at marcusmillichap.com



Hines REIT Agrees to Purchase the Howard Hughes Center from Blackstone Group

13 Dec 2013, 5:30 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

With 2013 all but over, the Los Angeles real estate market looks set to end the year with a huge headliner as one of the largest office asset acquisitions that the city has seen this year is set to take place. The media has been buzzing over the past week with news that Hines Real Estate Investment Trust Inc. has agreed to purchase the Howard Hughes Center from current owner Blackstone Group LP for a fee of $506 million.

The Howard Hughes Center offers tenants 1.318,682 square feet of office space divided into five Class A office buildings located at 6080, 6060, 6701, 6100 and 6601 Center Drive. Located near the Howard Hughes Promenade, one of the most high-profile shopping spots in the area, the office complex was developed over 15 years between 1987 and 2002. The campus has a vacancy rate of 12 percent, with a tenant roster totaling 93 companies.

Houston-based Hines REIT Inc. has filed paperwork for the completion of this blockbuster deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which, according to Bloomberg.com, revealed that the deal will be closed by the 15th of January. The Howard Hughes Center last traded hands when current seller Blackstone acquired it back in 2006, part of a joint acquisition of Trizec Properties Inc., along with Brookfield Office Properties Inc.

The Los Angeles office market is finally showing signs of stabilization after a number of years during which vacancy rates have ballooned to a value of almost 17 percent. Data provided by Marcus and Millichap Real Estate Investment Services shows that, based on their forecast for the final quarter of 2013, the end of the year will mark a plateau for greater downtown’s vacancy rate.

Chart courtesy of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services at marcusmillichap.com







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