George Smith Secures Financing for Hollywood Condo Conversion

The $4.5 million loan will be used by Friedman Capital to purchase and transform Patio del Moro into a condominium. The historic asset was once home to celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin or Humphrey Bogart.

By Laura Calugar

The Patio del Moro in Hollywood, Calif.

The Patio del Moro in Hollywood, Calif.

George Smith Partners secured a $4.5 million bridge financing for the acquisition and condominium conversion of Patio del Moro, a seven-unit, courtyard-style apartment community in the West Hollywood submarket of Los Angeles. The company secured the financing using a national lending platform from a bank. Sized to 65 percent of cost, the bridge loan is interest only and floats at prime plus 0.5 percent. 

Developers Brian and Jay Friedman, investing through Friedman Capital, will use the loan to purchase and renovate the building. Upon acquisition, the sponsors plan to apply for a Mills Act, which provides economic incentives for the restoration and preservation of historic buildings by private owners.

Located at 8225-8237 Fountain Ave., Patio del Moro is a protected historic landmark just one block south of the Sunset Strip, in close proximity to various restaurants, retailers and music venues. Attractions nearby include the Roxy Theatre, The Troubadour and boutique hotels, as well as film, television and music production studios. Designed in the Spanish Revival courtyard style with distinct Moorish features, Patio del Moro features average unit sizes of 1,425 square feet, in a mix of two- and three-bedroom units. 

Celebrities’ nest

The Patio del Moro in Hollywood, Calif.

Renowned architects Arthur and Nina Zwebell built Patio del Moro back in 1926. The asset is known as the former home of old Hollywood celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Joan Fontaine, Humphrey Bogart, Suzanne Pleshette and Joyce Van Patten. Each of the seven units has its own name and character—Villa del Rey Moro, La Casita, Casita para una Estrellita, Casa del Sol, Patio del Fuente, Casa del Orienta and Casa del Alegria. 

“The property’s historic significance, coupled with its irreplaceable urban-infill location, presented an attractive investment opportunity to capitalize on the demand for housing in West Hollywood. This condo conversion is one of the first to take place in West Hollywood since the Recession, a sign that condos are making a comeback in Los Angeles,” said George Smith Partners Vice President Zachary Streit.

Images courtesy of George Smith Partners

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