Los Angeles–Mid-August will witness the start of construction on the new $75 million Warner Park luxury apartment community, to be built on a four-plus-acre site recently acquired by Wood Partners in Warner Center, within the Woodland Hills district of Los Angeles.
Warner Center is a vibrant, mixed-use hub 25 miles from downtown Los Angeles, 20 miles east of Burbank and 16 miles from a fount of high-tech, insurance and healthcare jobs along the bustling Rt. 101 corridor.
Construction of the nearly 300-unit apartment community is expected to take about 22 months, with the first units available for occupancy in early 2013.
The architects on the development are Architects Orange, based in Orange, Calif. The general contractor is Wp West Builders of Newport Beach.
The development of the Warner Park luxury apartment community is ideally timed to take advantage of the strong Los Angeles apartment market, which Wood Partners reports has consistently outperformed the nation. From 1999 to 2007, Los Angeles registered an average occupancy of 96 percent, with average rent growth that exceeded 6 percent. Market occupancy bottomed out in the fourth quarter of 2008 at 92 percent, but in years since has rebounded to levels just below 95 percent. Stabilization has come to rents, and apartment market research firm Axiometrics forecasts rents to grow by 5.8 percent in 2011 and by 6.6 percent next year.
Moreover, the apartment community’s location in Warner Center, home to more than 50,000 jobs and millions of square feet of prime retail property, is perfectly sited to leverage large and growing demand by renters.
“We like to locate our projects near major areas of employment,” Brian Hansen, director of Wood Partners in Newport Beach, tells MHN. “The apartment community will be right off the 101 corridor, the big biotech employment center.”
Finally, after robust apartment community build-out from 2007 through 2009, little new apartment stock has come on line in the last 20 months. That trend is expected to continue through the fourth quarter of 2012 before reversing in 2013, based on projects in the pipeline. Before that reversal occurs, Warner Park will beat the market to the punch with upscale apartments created to meet the demand of a well-heeled populace avidly seeking new rental opportunities.
The major challenge Wood Partners has faced thus far centered on “the time frame we had to work with,” Hansen says. “We identified the site and closed on the site within 60 days. We had to do a quick due diligence and get everyone on board and arrange financing. Our financial partners didn’t want to be cited. It’s a large bank providing the construction loan, and we have an institutional equity partner onboard as well.”
Asked if there are additional new apartment communities to be developed by Wood Partners in the near term, Hansen answered in the affirmative. “Absolutely,” he says. “We’re aggressively pursuing new sites.”