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Jan. 2, 2013

Champion Buys Burbank Apartments for $15.6M

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

Burbank, Calif.—Champion Real Estate Cos. has acquired Villa 600, a 62-unit apartment building at 600 E. Olive Ave. in Burbank for nearly $15.6 million. The asset was built by architect August Bacchetta in 1973 and was owned by the original builder’s family until the recent sale.

The property is unusual for a number of reasons. One is that few properties have been available in Burbank recently, and little new product has been built in the area, even during the years before the recession.

According to Lee & Associates principal Craig Stevens, who oversaw the sale with Lee associate Tyler Stevens, only about 800 apartment units have been built in Burbank over the past 10 years. Also, the property is an example from when builders constructed southern California apartment buildings with owner units, and this particular owner unit was highly unusual. It’s a penthouse that was occupied by family members until about two years ago, comprising about 8,000 square feet with an expansive rooftop deck, private pool and panoramic views of the Verdugo Mountains.

Otherwise, most of Villa 600’s units have two bedrooms and two baths, and average over 1,000 square feet, which is large by current standards. The property isn’t under rent control, and it was fully occupied at the time of the sale, notes Stevens.

Los Angeles-based Champion plans an extensive renovation to Villa 600. The company also built—among other developments in southern California—the Burbank Collection, a mixed-use residential and retail property in downtown Burbank that’s  shadow-anchored by one of the top-performing movie theaters in the country (a 16-screen AMC) and includes other entertainment-oriented tenants.