Gelt Gets Busy in LA County

The firm recently acquired a 2.4-acre site to develop a new community and an existing property that it plans to give a major renovation.
A rendering of The Watermark in Reseda, Calif.

A rendering of The Watermark in Reseda, Calif.

Los Angeles—Gelt Inc. is keeping busy this month with two recent acquisitions in Los Angeles County. The company spent $45 million to acquire a 232-unit community in Santa Clarita from FPA Multifamily and, a few days later, bought a 2.4-acre parcel of land to develop a new 254-unit community in Reseda.

The existing community, Monterra Ridge, was built in 1985 and is pet friendly. Gelt plans to renovate the majority of the unit interiors by adding vinyl plank flooring, new cabinets, stainless steel appliances and new countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms. The company also has plans to: extensively remodel the leasing office and fitness center; add a barbecue area; renovate the dog park and add a second dog park; and install a new water feature.

“Monterra Ridge is an ideal addition to Gelt’s growing apartment portfolio. It had no deferred maintenance and has had consistently high occupancy,” said Keith Wasserman, partner with Gelt. “We are planning on adding value to the community through some key renovations that will make it even more attractive and meet the demands of the area’s residents who are seeking quality rental product.”

The company also hopes to provide quality rental product at its site in Reseda that it recently bought from Metric Holdings. Gelt plans to develop The Watermark, a 254-unit community that will include 6,600 square feet of retail and 13,500 square feet of self-storage space. Construction is expected to begin in early 2017 and completion is planned for early 2019. Gelt estimates the community will be worth $85 to $100 million once completed.

Keith Wasserman, Partner, Gelt Inc.

Keith Wasserman, Partner, Gelt Inc.

“This project is an important part of the overall improvements that are happening within the area. With the nearby hospital expansion that will bring more jobs, and our joint effort with the city of Reseda to rebrand the immediate neighborhood as Reseda Village, The Watermark is really helping to transform the area,” Wasserman told MHN. “Also, our project is next to LA River, which is in the midst of an additional beautification effort to make it more attractive and walkable.”

Aside from providing quality housing, Gelt also hopes to address the lack of multifamily product in Los Angeles, with the vacancy rate in the Reseda area hovering around 1.5 percent, Wasserman explained.

He added that the lack of development is also due to the challenging process of finding a site in the region that’s ready for development. “There is not a lot of land and infill sites are very hard to find. Additionally, the entitlement process is very time-consuming and challenging,” he explained.

Wasserman said that because Gelt is Los Angeles based, it likes to keep development “close to home.”  He added that the company will continue to seek development opportunities in the area in the next 12 to 24 months as it sees “the demand continuing to grow even stronger well into the future.”