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KB Homes Returns to Playa Vista with New Skylar and Asher Neighborhoods

25 Jul 2014, 2:35 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

KB Homes has unveiled two new communities in the Playa Vista submarket. The company, one of the largest home builders in the United States, recently presented its plans for Skylar and Asher, two communities totaling 129 new residential units that will be added to the area’s housing stock upon completion.

Asher community

Asher will include 36 three-story upscale homes that range in size from 2,435 to 2,757 square feet. The luxury homes include up to five bedrooms, four baths and two-car garages. The homes include private, built-in elevators, patios and decks on every floor, that underline the idea of outdoor living promoted by the Asher community. The project was awarded with a Gold Nugget Award in the single-family detached home category at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference.

The Skylar at Playa Vista community will feature a total of 93 high-end condominium units. The units each come with their private garage, in a wide variety of floor plans that range between 1,905 and 2,449 square feet of space. The larger floor plans offer four bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths and two-car garages. The community will also include EV charging stations for electric cars.

The two communities were designed by SoCal architect Barry Berkus. The residences at both the Asher and the Skylar offer a range of optional décor and structural choices including European-style bi-fold cabinets, wired or glass-accented stair railings, and high-end stainless steel appliances. KB Homes has employed smart planning, energy efficiency, water conservation and other measures in the development of the two communities. This has led to the communities being awarded LEED Platinum certification from the United States Green Building Council. KB Homes rolled out a similar Playa Vista neighborhood, also LEED Platinum certified, named Primera Terra. That community sold out back in 2012.

Old Pasadena Collection Snapped Up by Private Investor in $42 Million Transaction

18 Jul 2014, 8:07 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Four buildings in downtown Pasadena were recently part of a $42.6 million mixed-use deal as Old Pasadena Collection traded hands between two private investors. A team of representatives from real estate company Institutional Property Advisors arranged the sale on behalf of both parties.

The four properties that comprise the Old Pasadena Collection are located at 22 West Green Street, 65 West Dayton Street, 60 West Green Street and 70 West Green Street. The four properties total 91 residential units and a retail component that is unevenly divided between the four buildings. The residential units are located in the buildings at 22 West Green St. and 65 West Dayton St., while the ground floors of these buildings, and the two freestanding projects at 60 W Green St. and 70 W Green St., contain the retail component of the Old Pasadena Collection.

Also known as the Messina, 65 West Dayton St. offers 43 residential units and a ground-floor retail suite that is currently occupied by a tenant and the leasing office for all of the 91 residential units. The 2004-built property offers great resident amenities such as on-site gated parking, a central courtyard as well as a roof deck with lounge-style furniture and grill. In-unit features include central A/C, granite countertops, a black appliance package, stacked washers and dryers, carpeted living areas and a two-tone paint scheme.

The mixed-use building at 22 West Green St. is known as the Palermo and comprises 48 residential units, as well as four ground-floor retail suites, three of which are currently under contract. Amenities at the 2003-built Palermo include similar on-site gate parking and a central courtyard. In-unit amenities are similar to those found in the Messina, with track lighting, sunshades and views of the mountains added in some select units.   

Image courtesy of oldpasadenacollection.com


Vitus Group Acquires Senior Affordable Housing Building in Koreatown for $22.5 Million

14 Jul 2014, 2:51 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

An affordable housing community catering to seniors was recently sold by the Christ Unity Church in a deal worth approximately $22.5 million. The property in question is Christ Unity Manor in Koreatown, an asset that waited approximately 15 months to be traded; eight of those months the property spent in escrow. The sale was handled by real estate brokerage Colliers International. Although a large number of companies inquired about the property, the winning bid belonged to Vitus Group.

Christ Unity Manor is a 156-unit community located at 615 S. Manhattan Place that was developed back in 1973 and totals 116,664 square feet of space, according to real estate data provider PropertyShark.com. The property has since served as a senior affordable housing complex operated by the church. The non-profit seller only agreed to the deal once it found a buyer that would guarantee to maintain the property’s designation. The new owner has agreed to maintain the property as intended for at least 55 years. According to Colliers International, 43 prospective buyers bid for the chance of owning the 12-story affordable housing building.

With the area’s average rent rate currently at around $1,275 per month, the complex holds its rate near the $375 per month for the complex’ one-bedroom, one-bath units. Vitus will bring its experience with acquisitions and rehab of affordable housing assets, its commitment to renovating the structure and implementing other programs that would enhance the tenant experience. According to Colliers, the new owner is also committing around $5.45 million to add upgrades and renovations to Christ Unity Manor.

 Image courtesy of Google Maps.

MacFarlane Partners Acquires Downtown Development Site, Lines up Two-Building Mixed-Use Project

7 Jul 2014, 7:10 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

MacFarlane Partners has recently completed the acquisition of a high-profile development site located in the growing residential market of downtown Los Angeles. The developer has two residential buildings lined up for the piece of land, as well as a retail component and large amounts of open space. The buyer acquired the development site from Africa-Israel USA, in a deal brokered by Newmark Grubb Knight Frank representatives from New York and Los Angeles.

Located on the northeast corner of Fifth and Olive Streets and overlooking the nearby Pershing Square, the project known as Park Fifth will comprise approximately 600 residential units with a mix of apartments and condo units. The site offers a total of 99,000 square feet upon which Macfarlane will build a large mixed-use project that will offer around 600,000 square feet of space. The retail component would offer around 17,000 square feet of retail space, while roughly one half-acre of open space and amenities are also set to take shape on the podium that will link the two buildings together. According to rentv.com, talks regarding the deal have been underway for almost a year, with the project meanwhile completing the entitlement process, and approval finally coming through for the project during the first half of 2014. Construction at the Park Fifth development project is lined up for mid-2015.

Set to take shape in a growing development market of L.A., the project would add to a slate of large projects in an area with a local population density of 14,800/square mile. Around 100 building projects have sprouted in the city’s downtown area over the past few years, CoStar shows.

Image courtesy of macfarlanepartners.com

DJM Scores $93 Million in Financing as Construction Continues Unabated

28 Jun 2014, 2:04 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

A major retail development project in Huntington Beach recently received a serious fund injection as developer DJM landed approximately $93 million in financing. The funds were arranged by George Smith Partners Principal and Managing Director Steve Bram and Senior Vice President David Pascale. The funding is divided between a $56.5 million senior loan and a $37 million mezzanine loan. DJM will be using the proceeds to continue the development process at its Pacific City project.

The 191,000-square-foot retail center is located near the Huntington Beach Pier, along Pacific Coast Highway, three blocks away from Main Street. It features a two-story open design that facilitates views of the nearby Pacific Ocean to the largest part of the property’s tenants. With only a small amount of preleasing necessary as part of the financing process handled by George Smith Partners, information regarding the property’s tenant roster is still rather scarce.

Set to debut in 2015, the retail component of Pacific City will include a wide range of lifestyle brands, popular dining spots and an Equinox fitness center. The property’s Lot 579 will be a marketplace-style arrangement featuring local and regional food vendors in the vein of San Francisco’s Ferry Building. Construction at the project began late last year on the lot that DJM had acquired back in 2012. The process will continue with no changes in the development schedule due to the securing of the two loans.

The Pacific City development project was approved back in 2004, and calls for a brand new mixed-use experience to be built in Huntington Beach on a 31.5-acre plot of land, offering new retail, residential units and a hospitality facility. Currently, DJM Capital Partners Inc. is in charge of development for the commercial/retail project, R.D. Olson Development is handling the construction of the eight story, 250-key hotel that will also include 5,800 square feet of meeting and banquet space. Crescent Heights is listed as the applicant for the 17.23-acre multifamily component of the development that would include 516 residential units.

Image courtesy of huntingtonbeachca.gov

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