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First Ever Multifamily Property on Millionaire’s Row in Pasadena Trades Hands

18 Jan 2015, 9:55 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

The South Orange Grove Apartments recently traded hands in the Pasadena submarket. The residential property was sold for a price that exceeds the original listing price that was set at $9.5 million. South Orange Grove Apartments was acquired by a private investor from an entity of City Ventures.

The transaction was arranged by a team of representatives of Lee & Associates, who worked on behalf of the seller, which ended up receiving several hundred thousand dollars more than expected. According to Jim Fisher and Mike Smith, principals of Lee & Associates’ LA North/Ventura office, this was due to the fact that the area’s multifamily sector is seeing a lot of activity.According to Fisher, this trend should continue as long as the cost of capital stays at current levels.

The four-building multifamily asset offers a total of 20 units and is located on what was “Millionaire’s Row” at 164, 168, 172, 176 and 180 S. Orange Grove Boulevard, along the Rose Parade route in Pasadena. After a rezoning in the 1940s, South Orange Grove Apartments (built between 1949 and 1950) was the first multifamily building constructed on the Boulevard. The construction essentially marked the end of Millionaire’s Row, an area of 50 mansions constructed by wealthy families in the 1920s. The area still offers a numbers of architectural highlights such as The Gamble House, The Bissell House and Wrigley Mansion.

R.D. Olson Starts Construction on Hampton Inn & Suites in Glendale

12 Jan 2015, 3:09 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

A new hotel is planned for Glendale, CA as R.D. Olson Construction kicks off the building process for the Hampton Inn & Suites project. The Irvine, CA-based contractor is working on the hospitality facility after being employed by developer Vista Investments, LLC in order to handle construction duties. The developer of the Hampton Inn & Suites hotel has slated the project for a spring 2016 completion.

The five-story, 94-room Hampton Inn & Suites hotel will add to Glendale’s greatly improving downtown area. According to R.D. Olson Construction’s Project Executive Tommy Marcum, the new hotel will be located near the Americana at Brand mixed-use project. The 57,327-square foot property will offer guests an amenity package featuring an elevated outdoor pool deck with mountain views, lounge seating with an outdoor fireplace, a fitness center and a lobby with an inviting entrance for guests and visitors along Colorado Street. The project will also feature two levels of parking.

The design scheme for the Hampton Inn & Suites in Glendale will include elements such as stucco, brick, metal and glass, with an overall look meant to compliment the urban style of the surrounding area. Togawa Smith Martin is the architecture firm in charge of the property’s design.

R.D. Olson’s currently working on eight different LA-area development projects, with the Residence Inn by Marriott at LAX, Residence Inn by Marriott in Pasadena, SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Burbank, the Strathmore multifamily project in Westwood, Califa Office Building in Van Nuys, Bicycle Casino Hotel in Bell Gardens and The Village at Calabasas in Calabasas, as well as a renovation project at the W Hotel in Los Angeles.

South Hills Plaza in West Covina Acquired by Hong Kong-based Investor in $20 Million Deal

23 Dec 2014, 3:34 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

South Hills Plaza recently traded hands in a deal worth a reported $20.7 million. The buyer was LT Global, acting as LT Holdings in the United States market, a Hong Kong-based publicly traded investment company. The transaction was handled by CBRE Senior Vice President Philip D. Voorhees, along with a National Retail Investment Group – West team. The West Covina, CA retail center was sold by an L.A.-based partnership. The NRIG-West team consisted of Voorhees, Jimmy Slusher, Megan Read, Matt Burson, Brad Rable and John Read.

South Hills Plaza was developed in 1982 and was renovated in 2005, and it totals 120,589 square feet of retail space. The community shopping center is located on a 9.43-acre site at the corner of Azusa Avenue and E. Aroma Drive in West Covina. Anchor tenants at the site include 24 Hour Fitness and Marukai Market. Other national brands such as Taco Bell, Subway, USPS, and Charter Communication also have a presence at the property.

The sale process included the distribution of more than 370 offering memoranda to potential investors and brokers, which generated 23 purchase offers. According to the press statement announcing the transaction, Slusher noted that LT Global’s bid eventually won out because the Hong Kong-based investor “was persistent and tenacious; the competition was rather intense.” This is the 106th closed transaction recorded by CBRE’s NRIG-West team since the start of 2012 for a total consideration of $2.28 billion. Properties listed and sold by NRIG-West totaled more than $8.24 billion in retail transactions.    

Pacific Crest Realty Acquires Koreatown Community; Valencia Residential Project in DTLA Scores $41 Million Construction Loan

15 Dec 2014, 3:08 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Pacific Crest Realty has completed the purchase of Alexandria Apartments in Koreatown for a fee of $6 million, in a deal brokered by Kaufman Commercial for both the buyer and the seller. Located at 435 South Alexandria Avenue, the community will be renamed Chapman Apartments in a nod to Charles Chapman, the developer and philanthropist who built a residence on the site in 1915. The 1927-built apartment building offers 30 one-bedroom apartments and 19 studio units. It’s located near the iconic Chapman Market, the site of the country’s first drive-through grocery back in 1929.

In other local news, Continental Funding Group recently announced that it has completed a deal for a downtown Los Angeles development project. The company’s president, Mitch Paskover, arranged a $41 million construction loan for the development of the Valencia. The deal for the class A apartment project was sourced by Continental through a multifamily construction debt bank. The interest-only loan is LIBOR-based, with a loan-to-cost ratio of 70 percent, and a term of three years with two one-year options. The developer is an active investor focusing on Los Angeles-area markets whose portfolio currently consists of both commercial and residential properties, rentv.com noted.

The project for the Valencia community in Central City West calls for a total of 218 residential units to be built over five floors on a 1.5-acre site on Wilshire Boulevard and Valencia Street. The asset will be located in the immediate proximity of Good Samaritan Hospital. Units are set to offer 9-ft. ceilings, balconies and in-unit washer/dryer, while the resident amenity package includes resort-style landscaping, pool, spa, barbecue areas, health center, 5,000 square feet of outdoor space and a club lounge. Valencia will encourage bike riding with 244 bicycle spaces provided to residents as part of the overall design of the property.

Image: Chapman Market

Image courtesy of ratkovich.net

United States Green Building Council Awards LEED Gold Certification to US Bank Tower

8 Dec 2014, 2:32 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

The U.S. Bank Tower in L.A., one of the most high-profile office properties in the downtown area, was recently awarded Gold certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Existing Buildings Rating System. The building is currently under the ownership of OUE Limited, while property management duties are being handled by international real estate firm Hines. Tenants at the U.S. Bank Tower include names such as U.S. Bank, Hinshaw & Culbertson, Regus, and the Special Olympics.

Located at 633 West Fifth Street, the 75-story office tower is the tallest building in the Western United States. U.S. Bank Tower was designed by Henry N. Cobb and Harold Fredenberg of I.M. Pei and Partners and was finished back in 1990. The property was acquired last year by OUE Limited, which then employed Hines to provide property management, as well as LEED consulting services. The new owner has plans to add a public observation deck and restaurant on the top floors of the building by the end of Q2 of 2015, in an attempt to turn the asset into a visitor attraction, as well as an upscale office property.

The building has earned the ENERGY STAR label eight times since 2005, and it has a current rating of 84, being 36 percent more energy efficient and saving $1.63 in energy costs per square foot. Green features at the property that have helped the building receive certification include more than 86 percent monthly landfill diversion through recycling and e-waste disposal, a high-performance green cleaning program, alternative commuting transportation in 64 percent of the building population, increased lighting controls to help reduce energy, reduction of carbon emissions, enhanced indoor air quality systems, comprehensive construction waste recycling and reduction in water use by over 30 percent.

Image courtesy of hines.com

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