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Category: Apartments

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CIM Group breaks ground for Hollywood apartments

Hollywood's largest landlord broke ground Monday on a $20-million luxury apartment building just north of Hollywood Boulevard.

The developer is CIM Group, which owns the Hollywood & Highland entertainment center and the Sunset & Vine apartment tower along with several other large properties. 1802 Whitley rendering

Its latest project is a five-story, 32-unit building at the northeast corner of Whitley Avenue and Yucca Street. CIM Group acquired the property at 1800 Whitley last fall, and construction is expected to be completed by summer 2012.

In 1998, CIM Group targeted Hollywood as an emerging urban district. Since then, it has acquired and developed a real estate portfolio that includes office, hotel, retail, multifamily residential and mixed-use properties.

-- Roger Vincent

Photo: A rendering of apartments under construction at 1800 Whitley Ave. in Hollywood. Credit: CIM Group

Glendale apartments sold out of receivership for $43 million

A Glendale apartment complex has been purchased out of receivership by Essex Property Trust Inc. for $43 million, the receiver said Monday.

Essex, a Palo Alto-based real estate investment trust, bought the 115-unit complex at 416 E. Broadway. The developer, East Broadway Ventures of Newport Beach, intended the four-story project to be condominiums, but the home sales market was in distress by the time it was completed in 2009 at a cost of up to $58 million.GlendaleExterior (2)

The complex was converted to apartments and is now more than 95% leased, according to receiver Taylor Grant, principal of California Real Estate Receiverships in Newport Beach.

“When the market recovers, it may well again be sold as a condominium,” Grant said. There were more than 20 offers to buy the project, he added, “which is indicative of the continuing demand for quality projects in undersupplied markets.”

The property was encumbered with numerous liens and competing claims for payment that had to be resolved before it could be sold, Grant said. It includes 9,000 square feet of retail space at ground level.

Broker Sean Deasy of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler represented both parties in the sale.

-- Roger Vincent

Photo: Apartments at 416 E. Broadway in Glendale. Credit: California Real Estate Receiverships

Los Angeles apartment renters returning to market

Many Los Angeles County renters who doubled up during the recession are regaining the confidence to get their own apartments, a real estate brokerage said Tuesday.

The “de-bundling” of households prompted leasing of empty units in the third quarter, fueling one of the strongest periods of apartment absorption on record in the county, real estate investment company Marcus & Millichap said in an apartment industry report.Smerelda

Landlords helped fuel demand by lowering rents, but rents are now leveling out on the Westside where landlords are seeing the most gains in occupancy in the county. Asking rents there average $1,895 per month, down about 8% from prerecession peaks.

Downtown Los Angeles saw the most apartment construction in the last year, prompting record levels of concessions from landlords such as offering tenants periods of free rent in exchange for signing a lease. Renewed demand, however, and the fact that landlords can charge more for new space, have brought asking rents up 1% in 2010 to $1,342 per month.

Overall apartment vacancy in the county peaked early this year at 5.5% -- the highest level on record since 1992 -- and fell to 4.9% in the third quarter. Marcus & Millichap expects the vacancy rate to hold at that level through the end of the year.

-- Roger Vincent  

Photo: Smeralda Apartments in Los Angeles. Credit: Marcus & Millichap

Tips for greening a rented apartment

Greening an apartment, even without help from a landlord, is doable. Tiffany Hsu explores the path to eco-tenancy, and all the graywater systems, recycled toilet paper and chemical-free paint involved.


Commercial building occupancy still falling, Realtors say

Vacancy rates will continue to rise in most types of commercial real estate such as office and industrial buildings until the end of this year or early 2011, the National Assn. of Realtors said Wednesday.

The only bright spot for landlords is apartments. Demand for units should increase in the second half of the year as new jobs are created in the improving economy and new households are formed, said Lawrence Yun, the association’s chief economist.

“However, the office, warehouse and retail sectors continue to experience the delayed effects of the recession,” Yun said. “These sectors should see gradual improvement after jobs pick up and create additional demand for space, meaning a broader improvement in commercial real estate is likely in 2011.”

Commercial rents will also continue to dip in 2010, Yun said, though apartment and industrial rents are close to stabilizing.

The association’s report is in line with those of real estate brokerages and other industry analysts who say that commercial property occupancy and rents are lagging indicators of the economy. As long-term leases expire, pared-back businesses look for smaller, cheaper quarters. 

-- Roger Vincent

Decline in sales of new apartments, condos and 'plexes remains steady, study finds

Sales of new homes in subdivisions of 10 units or more were 26% lower this June than a year earlier -- the same level of decline as in May, the California Building Industry Association said in a monthly report.

The "New-Home Sales and Pricing Report," conducted by the association and consulting firm Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, reports changes in new home sales year-over-year and for consecutive months.

This June, 2,607 new homes and condominiums were sold in housing complexes tracked by Hanley Wood, based in Costa Mesa. In June 2008, the firm reported 3,528 homes sold in developments of 10 units or more.

Single-family home sales were down 38%, and sales of townhouses, duplexes and triplexes were down 16%, the report said. Sales of condominiums were up by 9%, it said.

Compared with the same period last year, the median base price of homes sold dropped 5%.

Overall home sales volume last month was about 25% lower than a year earlier, the report said.

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Downtown L.A. micro-lofts for rent may be affordable, but they sure are tiny

Microloft 

The Rosslyn Lofts in downtown L.A. announced the availability of micro-loft apartments last week featuring kitchenettes, free utilities and free Internet.

Redesigned to serve the downtown workforce, the 1913 concrete-and-steel building at 451 S. Main St. was largely gutted and now has 297 rentals, 259 of which qualify as "affordable housing." Households earning between 35% and 60% of the Los Angeles area’s median income are eligible to lease the units from $484 to $832.

Now here comes the micro part: The spaces range from 200 to 325 square feet. That's smaller than a standard two-car garage.

Does small mean affordable? You tell me.

-- Lauren Beale

Thoughts? Comments

Photo: The building's exposed brick adds visual interest to a wall of a model unit.  Credit: Parness & Associates

L.A. apartment building foreclosures rise

RentersHow foreclosures are affecting low-income renters comes from the Associated Press story datelined Los Angeles, "Renting families forced onto street as landlords lose apartments to foreclosure," at latimes.com:

The foreclosure crisis is hitting inner-cities hard as landlords default on mortgages in record numbers and foreclosures force tenants into the street. Boarded up apartment buildings have become common on impoverished city blocks while emergency shelters are swelling with mothers with children.

"The doors are busting down with people with this problem," said Mercedes Marquez, city housing general manager. "And the wave is still coming."

More on the national and local pictures:

While the nation's default rate on apartment buildings is still relatively low, it is rising quickly. Fannie Mae, for example, said its delinquency rate was 0.30 percent at the end of last year, double what it was at the end of September, and almost four times the rate at the end of 2007.

In Los Angeles, neighborhoods in the city's low-income south and central areas are being walloped.

In 2007, buildings containing a total of 1,690 apartments were foreclosed on. In 2008, owners lost buildings containing 4,789 apartments, according to the city housing department.

That's a lot of lost rental housing.

--Lauren Beale

Thoughts? Comments?

Photo: Anna Siciliano, right, closes her gate after her aunt, Maria Clemente, left, and her husband, Jose Clemente, moved their belongings into her garage in Los Angeles March 15, 2009. Clemente's daughter, Maritza Lopez, center, looks on. The couple's landlord lost their rental property in foreclosure. Credit: Jason Redmond / Associated Press

Senior-living apartments sold to New York landlord

Owners of the Pantages will announce plans to add 10 stories of office to the historic building, thereby completing the original Art Deco plans drawn up in the 1920s. photo by Annie Wells

FountainGlen Properties of Irvine, the largest developer of age-restricted rental housing for tenants 55 and older, has been purchased by New York developer and landlord the Clarett Group.

The acquisition is part of Clarett's strategy to expand on the West Coast, said Frank Stephan, senior managing director. Clarett will continue to operate FountainGlen's 10 apartment complexes in such Southern California cities as Pasadena, Laguna Niguel and Huntington Beach.

Clarett also plans to acquire and develop more FountainGlen apartment complexes, Stephan said. Terms of sale were not released. In a separate project in Hollywood, Clarett is planning a $400-million apartment development next to the Pantages Theatre. Construction may begin later this year, Stephan said.

-- Roger Vincent

Photo: The Pantages. Photo: Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times

Senior-living apartments sold to New York landlord

Owners of the Pantages will announce plans to add 10 stories of office to the historic building, thereby completing the original Art Deco plans drawn up in the 1920s. photo by Annie Wells

FountainGlen Properties of Irvine, the largest developer of age-restricted rental housing for tenants 55 and older, has been purchased by New York developer and landlord the Clarett Group.

The acquisition is part of Clarett's strategy to expand on the West Coast, said Frank Stephan, senior managing director. Clarett will continue to operate FountainGlen's 10 apartment complexes in such Southern California cities as Pasadena, Laguna Niguel and Huntington Beach.

Clarett also plans to acquire and develop more FountainGlen apartment complexes, Stephan said. Terms of sale were not released. In a separate project in Hollywood, Clarett is planning a $400-million apartment development next to the Pantages Theatre. Construction may begin later this year, Stephan said.

-- Roger Vincent

Photo: The Pantages. Photo: Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times

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