Dinerstein Companies to Build Apartment Community at Warner Center

Warner Center, the highly walkable, live-work master-planned community in California's San Fernando Valley, will soon gain yet another multifamily development.

Los Angeles—Warner Center, the highly walkable, live-work master-planned community in California’s San Fernando Valley, will soon gain yet another multifamily development. Earlier this month, The Dinerstein Companies, a Houston-based developer, acquired a 10.4-acre site entitled for a 707-unit apartment building. Panavision, the occupant of the existing building at 6219 DeSoto Ave., will relocate to another structure nearby, allowing the site to be redeveloped.

“The multifamily market is on fire right now, and in Los Angeles and other places, it’s even more on fire,” John Battle, principal of Calabasas-based Lee & Associates – LA North/Ventura, Inc., tells MHN. “This parcel was already entitled for multifamily development, a process that can take up to two years. And it’s in an area, Warner Center, that’s done very well with multifamily development.”

Battle, who represented the buyer in the transaction, adds this parcel is one of the last remaining fully entitled multifamily parcels in Warner Center.

Panavision’s move to its new location in August will allow its current 154,000-square foot home to be demolished shortly thereafter. Construction will then begin on the new apartment project, which will feature one- to three-bedroom apartment homes. First occupancies are slated for third quarter, 2013.

“For the developer, there shouldn’t be any [challenges], because the approvals are already in place,” Battle says. “The city wants it built, and it will serve the city very well. Panavision, which has been in the area for 20 years and is a very good employer, is moving to a new home in a building right up the street that’s been vacant for four or five years. The fact that the former Panavision site is being redeveloped for multifamily, while the job base provided by Panavision moves no further than just up the street, is a win-win for all involved.”

More than 50,000 apartment units across 26 states have been completed by The Dinerstein Companies, a family-owned, fully integrated real estate company. Since 2010, more than 2,300 units have either been completed or have come under development by The Dinerstein Companies in Southern California.

“The visibility of this property, on DeSoto Ave. in the heart of Warner Center, and the community’s forward-thinking approach to planning, made this a very exciting opportunity,” says Josh Vasbinder, vice president of The Dinerstein Companies.

“The Village at Westfield Topanga has just been approved, adding to the already plentiful amenities for residents in the area. And the outlook for this community is very positive.”

The acquisition of the parcel is further validation of the attractiveness of Warner Center to developers such as The Dinerstein Companies, Battle says. “Most developers prefer certainty, as opposed to not knowing what they’re going to get. That certainty is assured by approvals already in place,” he says.