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South Park Business Improvement Lands Major Victory with Sidewalk Initiative

2 Mar 2015, 6:15 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

The South Park Business Improvement has been very effective in its efforts to address the issues city sidewalks present in the booming area of downtown. BID received a great deal of assistance from Councilman José Huizar, the Los Angeles Board of Public Works, the Bureau of Engineering, and the Bureau of Street Services. Through this support system, the BID was able to fund a pilot program with 800 sidewalk locations receiving safety improvements and being brought to the specifications of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Once the priority of the program was set, namely sidewalk repairs for the area, the BID was able to come up with solutions to improve the 32-block district over the entire year. 2014 also saw the emergence of a new technology that identifies issues with sidewalks and fixes them without the use of excessive intervention such as demolition and replacement. The program used state-of-the-art software with GPS mapping and patented technology to repair the existing infrastructure, reducing the amount of necessary reconstruction.

The program was approved by the Board of Public Works in December 2014 and work began this past January. According to José Huizar, one of the largest supporters of the program, “The resulting public-private partnership is a powerful demonstration of what can be accomplished when the City and property owners work collaboratively toward a common goal.” Huizar also noted the impact that the project has had on South Park, although the actual time spent solving issues took less than 14 work days, with zero complaints recorded. The program, put in place by BID, was also cost-effective with an estimated $180,000 saved compared to other repair methods.

With this model in place, the City may now turn to other areas of L.A. where 4,400 miles of hazardous sidewalks are yet to be repaired.

4000 MacArthur Office Project in Newport Beach Trades Hands

23 Feb 2015, 4:57 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

A large office asset in Newport Beach was recently acquired by Hines for an undisclosed amount. The buyer worked with a subsidiary of a fund managed by Oaktree Capital Management L.P. in the acquisition of 4000 MacArthur, a large office asset located in the Airport Area submarket. As a result of the transaction, Hines will take over management duties on behalf of the joint venture.

4000 MacArthur is located at the intersection of MacArthur Boulevard and Jamboree Road within Koll Center Newport, and it comprises two office buildings, each standing ten stories tall. The Class A office project totals 375,000 square feet in a location that provides easy access to nearby John Wayne Airport, as well as the SR-73 and I-405 Freeway. The property recently received a set of new improvements such as: a new curtainwall façade, two fully renovated main lobbies, new restrooms, new corridors, new individual elevator lobbies, new parking and landscaping and new multiple outdoor seating areas, as well as a new on-site café.

The asset’s current tenant roster occupies roughly 91 percent of the available office space. Twelve tenants are under contract at 4000 MacArthur with names such as Hyundai Capital America, M/A-COM Technology Solutions Holdings, Lifescript, and Premium Office Centers. According to Hines Managing Director Ray Lawler, the property’s position and current shape should be a major draw with premier tenants. This acquisition is the Hines Orange County team’s eleventh project, bringing the company portfolio in the area to around 2.8 million square feet of space. These projects have been vastly improved in terms of occupancy after becoming part of the Hines-Oaktree joint venture.


San Fernando Valley Luxury Asset Acquired for $44 Million

15 Feb 2015, 8:48 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

A private investor recently completed the acquisition of a residential asset in Encino, Calif. for a reported amount of $44 million. According to Lee & Associates, the property was acquired from IMT Capital, a Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based company. The off-market transaction was completed with the assistance of Lee & Associates—LA North/Ventura Managing Director and Principal Jim Fisher, Lee Principal Mike Smith and Associate, Cory Stehr. The buyer was in a 1031 Exchange, and acquired the property as a long-term investment.

Fisher and Smith handled the transaction on behalf of IMT Capital, while Stehr worked for the private investor that acquired the property. Jim Fisher and Mike Smith had previously worked with IMT Capital during the company’s acquisition of IMT Thousand Oaks, a 191-unit community that the company bought from Archstone.

Located at 5501 Newcastle Avenue in the San Fernando Valley, the 120-unit property is in an upscale residential community. Amenities include in-unit washer/dryers, walk-in closets, a fitness center, a business center, private balconies, pool and spa. The community also offers residents an underground parking facility.

Pasadena Office Asset Acquired by Laurus Corporation

9 Feb 2015, 4:31 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

A Pasadena office asset was recently picked up by private real estate investment and development firm Laurus Coporation. The company announced the acquisition of 199 South Los Robles, which marks an expansion of Laurus into the country’s second largest office market. Pasadena is one of the best performing submarkets in Los Angeles, with the area being able to maintain a consistently low average vacancy rate over the past decade. Pasadena, along with Glendale and Burbank, is part of Tri-Cities market, one of the top three real estate markets in Los Angeles County.

199 South Los Robles is a Class A office asset that offers 163.194 square feet of space. The eight-story property is located between the cross streets of Cordova and El Dorado, just one block south of the award-winning Paseo Colorado lifestyle center. Also located nearby are Old Town Pasadena, Lake Avenue Business and Shopping District, and the Pasadena Convention Center, as well as the Del Mar Metro Gold Line Station. The asset’s placement also offers great access to the 210, 134 and 110 freeways.

The new owner will take the property through a number of modifications including a well-designed renovation program for the lobby, corridors, bathrooms, elevator lobby, overall common areas and building systems. According to the Chairman of Laurus Coporation, Andres Szita, “These upgrades to the interior and exterior will further drive rental rates, occupancy and tenant satisfaction.” The area features a number of drivers for office demand, with the California Institute of Technology, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Art Center College of Design. The area features a well-educated workforce, great research facilities and important presences in the technology, healthcare and media sectors.

Image courtesy of trgpartners.com

Balfour Beatty Completes Hollywood Mixed-Use Tower for Less than Expected

2 Feb 2015, 3:02 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Balfour Beatty Construction has completed a high-end mixed-use tower in Hollywood for considerably less than was originally estimated. The company’s Southwest Division finished a project it had been developing for real estate and infrastructure investment firm CIM Group at a total cost of $76.2 million, roughly $12 million less than what was initially committed to the project. The difference results from the use of the contractor’s cast-in-place structures, as well as a re-design of the building’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

The Sunset and Gordon luxury residential building is located at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gordon Street in Hollywood. The 22-story tower will total 547,500 square feet of space and occupies a 1.7-acre lot. The property features 299 upscale apartments, 36,688 square feet of office space, 12,229 square feet of retail and dining space, as well as a parking component that can accommodate 523 vehicles. The office space is located on the building’s third and fourth floors, while floors five through 22 feature the residential component of the development. Resident amenities at Sunset and Gordon will include a pool deck on the fifth floor, a media room, and a fitness center.

The building was designed by GBD Architects and, according to Senior Vice President and Project Executive for Balfour Beatty Construction, Joe Martino, Sunset and Gordon features a re-creation of the original 1920s Spanish-style architecture façades along Sunset Boulevard and a portion of its Gordon Street frontage. This design measure was taken as a result of the developer’s failure to preserve the Old Spaghetti building which was demolished during the early stages of development for the Sunset and Gordon tower.

Image courtesy of cimgroup.com

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