Cohen & Associates, Highroad Acquire Westwood Property

Cohen & Associates and Highroad Realty & Management have acquired a 60-unit apartment building in West Los Angeles for $21.5 million.

Los Angeles—Cohen & Associates and Highroad Realty & Management have acquired a 60-unit apartment building in West Los Angeles for $21.5 million. The property is located immediately adjacent to UCLA in the high-end Westwood enclave, one of Los Angeles’ most vibrant multifamily submarkets.

The four-story community offers a mix of one-bedroom, one-bedroom and den, and two-bedroom units, as well as two-story townhome-style units, most with fireplaces and balconies. It also has a gated two-level parking garage.

“Location, location, location [and] the upside potential of a renovation” attracted the buyers to the property, Adrian Goldstein of Highroad Realty & Management tells MHN. “[It is] a Class C asset in a Class A location.”

Though well constructed, the building requires renovation. Cohen & Associates and Highroad will immediately launch an ambitious capital improvement program to rebrand the building as one of Westwood’s leading student-oriented housing communities, says Gidi Cohen, president of Cohen & Associates.

The opportunity to purchase a multifamily building in such a coveted location doesn’t come along every day, says Marcus & Millichap’s Tony Azzi, who with George Azzi represented both buyer and seller in the transaction.

“The pocket of 125 apartment buildings north of Wilshire around UCLA is arguably the most desirable in Westwood, which is why very few ever change hands,” he says. “It’s not surprising to see a building under the same ownership for decades. This one in particular had the same owner for nearly 40 years.”

Plans for the building, which will be retitled as “888 Hilgard,” include adding a fully equipped gym, upgrading kitchens and bathrooms, installing washers and dryers in each unit, and incorporating a rooftop lounge with sundeck, barbecue and fire pit. The buyers have also retained feng shui consultant David Cho, as well as designer James Rosen, who has renovated a number of area properties.

The asset will be brought up to date technologically, Cohen adds. “Tenants will have a new electronic main entry and tenant suite entry system, which will add an additional level of quality and security,” he reports. “They will enjoy super-fast Wi-Fi and cable connectivity. The property finishes will be updated and modernized, creating a vibrancy and appeal unmatched in the marketplace. New amenities will be added, such as a gymnasium and rooftop lounge. The interior common areas will be enhanced, fire and life safety systems will be modernized, and the interior suites will be appointed with modern kitchens and stainless steel appliances and new modern bathrooms. Energy efficient devices and green technology will be implemented wherever possible, and [where] cost effective.”

The ultimate goal of the renovation is to make the apartment community more functional and appealing to the international student population of UCLA. Says Cohen: “This asset is essentially a blank slate with unlimited potential.”