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May28

Modern Luxury Power Players 2019: Kofi Nartey

By Modern Luxury for Angeleno Magazine | Read the original article here

Kofi Nartey is the real deal. As Director of the Sports & Entertainment Division at Compass Real Estate, he utilizes his more than 15 years of experience to help his A-List clientele realize their dreams when buying, selling, or investing in property in L.A.'s white hot real estate market.

"The unique lifestyles of athletes and entertainers require specialized services that guard their privacy and protect them contractually," Nartey says. "We have been fortunate to use that understanding to build what is arguably the largest national database of celebrity, sports and luxury real estate clients."

The Nartey Sports Foundation, which he and his wife– a fellow athlete– Mimi launched last year, continues to break boundaries with sports-related interventions for underserved youth.

"We recently held a fund-raising screener of in Search of Greatness and are sending 100 pairs of soccer cleats to Ghanaian athletes donated by a group of middle school students here in L.A.," Nartey shares. "We are also very excited for our second annual gala in July. Athletics gave us a great foundation of hard work, teamwork and leadership, so being able to provide opportunities for your sports participation is amazing."

Specializations

Nartey's impressive resume as a college and pro athlete, an actor with more than 10-years of experience, an MBA, a celebrity and luxury real estate correspondent and author of Sellebrity: How to Build a Successful Sports and Entertainment Based Business, has provided him with an exceptional advantage working with his high-level clientele and is helping to drive his newest venture.

"This summer we're launching 90210.com: A Media Company, which will cover all aspects of our business, from outstanding properties to luxury lifestyles to world-class brands we work with through video content. It will be an outstanding way to expand our already growing network."

May24

Real Estate Market Trends: Nine Ways To Separate Signal From Noise

By Forbes Real Estate Council for Forbes | Read the original article here

The market is always fluctuating in some way, but in order to be successful, you must be able to separate signals from noise when trying to understand developing trends. Doing this, however, can be a challenge—you need to know what to look for, as well as what sources you can trust, when you're doing your research.

In order to help shine some light on what you need to know, members of the Forbes Real Estate Council, below, discuss some ways they recommend staying on top of market trends and fluctuations, as well as discuss why those approaches can help. Here's what they said:

1. Focus On Your Specific Market

Most market fluctuations and trends that get reported are general and not specific to a particular market. Cities in a region are all micro markets. Even the street to street can yield different market stats. Make sure the information you are referencing or relying on is specific to your market and your goals. - Kofi NarteyThe Nartey Group - Compass

2. Find Experts And Bearish Cynics

In commercial real estate, there's a cacophony heralding opportunity zones articles every day. But, speak to a tax specialist and you learn that the rules aren't finalized. Talk to fund organizers and they're not yet buying. Want to separate the action from hype? Find experts and the bearish cynics, and if there's more talk about a "moment" than definitive action, that's your guidepost. - Kristin GeentyThe Geenty Group, Realtors

3. Watch The High-End

Markets are about money. When appreciating, the market moves from the bottom up. When money is available, the lower, mid and high-end are doing well. In a downturn, if the high-end is lagging, it's an indication that the cycle is in decline. A strong, low and mid-level price market is still possible while high-end is in decline, but it's a sign of an overall negative trend. - Thomas McCormackResources Real Estate

4. Listen To Your 'Boots On The Ground'

Real estate is a people business, so always remember teamwork makes the dream work. The people on the ground are the ones that are going to be your eyes and ears for a particular market. They are also going to be more of an asset compared to anything you read online. If you select the right market and people they can give you the inside scoop on a daily basis and more. - Engelo RumoraList'n Sell Realty

5. Educate Yourself About The Economy

As investors and advisors, we need to understand the overall economy to determine what is actually a "signal" or indicator of where the market is headed versus what is just an anomaly or noise and inaccurate analysis. By continuously educating ourselves and looking beyond just the numbers and stats, we are able to add value for both our own portfolio and our clients' requirements. - Catherine KuoElite Homes | Christie's International Real Estate

6. Trust In The Numbers

Cold, hard data never lies, and the market is always in flux. So, dig deeply into recent sales data, including comparable percent changes over a 6 to 12 month period, to reveal the real market trends that are impacting your potential opportunities. Focus on property type and micro-market data trends to find the real-deal information that will confidently guide you when setting your sale or purchase target. - Garratt HasenstabThe Mountain Life Companies™

7. Check Your Sources For Credibility

Seek data from multiple sources, look for consistent conclusions supported by more than one data point and consider sources’ credibility. A research report or national news story should carry more weight than the views of an unknown blogger. All sources are not created equal, and we need to be cognizant of a source’s credibility to cut through today’s content-hungry, 24/7 news cycle. - Gary BeasleyRoofstock

8. Study Ratios

Data by itself is only partially useful. What's interesting is how they relate to each other. I like to look at the ratios, which combine several different market stats to really distill down what's going on. For instance, price per square foot is somewhat useful, but price per square foot per square foot will plot out how increased size will diminish the standard PPSF value. - Ari AfsharCompass

9. Research Master Plan Documents

When I want to get up to date on market trends, I check in on material updates to master plan documents in metropolitan areas with the most population growth. Master plans are the guiding documents for community development and can usually be found on the planning and zoning or development websites for most cities or counties. Maricopa County was the fastest growing county in 2018, which is a good place to start. - Bryan McLarenZoned Properties, Inc.

Mar18

11 Ways Non-Experts Can Keep Up With Local Housing Trends

By Forbes Real Estate Council for Forbes | Read the original article here

Understanding local housing trends can be crucial to the purchase or sale of a property — no one, for instance, wants to purchase a house, only for its value to drop tremendously a month or two later. However, knowing what to look for — and why — can be challenging. While real estate professionals have a specific set of metrics or signs they watch, people outside of the industry may not know what information is particularly important to consider when buying or selling a house, much less the best place to find that data.

So how can non-industry experts keep an eye on local housing trends in order to make better-informed decisions? Here are some approaches members of Forbes Real Estate Council advise trying:

1. Use A Data-Driven Approach
An average investor would do well to utilize a data-driven approach. Truliais a great resource which provides local housing trends and data such as listing prices, sales prices, sales volume and rental prices. The data is also provided in heat map and historical chart visualizations. - Yousif Abudra,BENA Capital, LLC

2. Track Everything Online
Keeping track of the housing market is easily done online by watching what price the neighborhood homes are actually closing for and what style of properties are most popular. Following along with neighborhood developments like local coffee shops opening up or new restaurants moving in will give you a good idea of what areas will become the most popular. - Beatrice de Jong, Open Listings (YC W15)

3. Read Blogs And Newsletters
Most good agents write periodic blogs or send out newsletters. If you're interested in a specific community or neighborhood, look for the agents with the most listings and sign up to receive market information. Some of the national portals such as Zillow or Realtor.com also offer market information. - Lisa Fettner, ReferralExchange

4. Follow Trends And Experts
Markets are often impacted by residential and commercial developments. Some people follow new construction permits. Some people follow Whole Foods into neighborhoods. Also, follow an agent in your area. Lots of agents post market updates or send out emails with market stats. Get on their distribution lists. Then, when it is time to pull the trigger, contact one of them. - Kofi Nartey, The Nartey Group - Compass

5. Use A Multiple Listing Search Engine
Ask a real estate broker friend to set up an auto-search in the Multiple Listing Service. It can be set for pricing, a specific area, age of home, new construction, size or bare land. The MLS will notify you of new listings, price reductions and back-on-the-market properties. You'll get a feel for price fluctuations, what's flying out the door, what isn't and the number of days on market. - Jessica Pankratz, Town & Country Realty

6. Align Yourself With A Pro
While there's an abundance of data and other info online, the smartest and most efficient way an average person can keep apprised of local market trends is to align themselves with a competent real estate pro. A great agent not only knows the pertinent numbers, but also the players in the market, understands trends from a first-hand perspective and can advise based on what's happening in real time. - Thomas McCormack, Resources Real Estate

7. Set Up Google Alerts
Set up Google alerts to get notified of local real estate news, trends and statistics in your email inbox. Be careful to balance reports, consider the source and their motivation, and look for the rawest and most impartial data possible. Keep a close eye out and ear to the ground in your neighborhood too. All real estate is local. Are rent and for sale signs sitting out longer? - Kent Clothier, Real Estate Worldwide

8. Study The Area
To get a handle on housing trends, read about everything else in the community or region. A growing arts district, expanding college or university, big employer coming in (or going out), are great indicators of incoming demand levels. Many in the real estate industry look at historical trends in sales but for future demand, look into drivers such as jobs, students or the area's rising profile. - Kristin Geenty, The Geenty Group, Realtors

9. Look For A Top Selling Agent
Every neighborhood has a "go-to" real estate agent who dominates the market. You see their "For Sale" signs everywhere. They know the local housing trends better than anyone because they typically work and live right there. And they not only have the best market data, but have inside knowledge you can't Google. Even if you're a seller thinking of going the iBuyer route, talk to that agent! - Lane Hornung, zavvie

10. Read The News
Real estate is excellent fodder for media that reflect the actual state of the market. Open your local paper and flip to the real estate section. Normally you'll see stories about emerging neighborhoods, prices, or new businesses coming to the area — all which can have an effect on your real estate needs. Of course, it's important to talk to a real estate agent before making any serious moves. - Elizabeth Ann Stribling-Kivlan, Stribling & Associates

11. Pay Attention To Detail
It’s important to frame each and every property within its own micro-market. Having the ability to showcase how a property compares to competing inventory, within its own micro-market, can provide invaluable insight to buyers. Property details can significantly increase or decrease the value of a property. - Cody Vichinsky, Bespoke Real Estate

Feb20

New To Real Estate Development? 14 Things You Need To Know To Build Success

By Forbes Real Estate Council for Forbes | Read the original article here

Like most industries, real estate has changed over the years. If new real estate developers want to be successful, they must not only get a feel for what the current market values, they must stay aware of — and plan for — future changes in what people look for in a property.

This might seem intimidating, but with the right guidance, people getting established in the industry can start off on the right foot and establish a name for themselves. So what do you need to watch for? Below, members of Forbes Real Estate Council share some essential tips that every first-time real estate developer should know.

1. Understand Discipline And Differentiation
Discipline and differentiation are key to success for developers. Discipline pertains to the numbers. They must be conservative in their projections for exit prices. The homes or condos they build, and finishes they use, can't outprice the market. The other key is differentiation. Bringing more character and story to the now popular contemporary and farmhouse styles will help them stand out. - Kofi NarteyThe Nartey Group - Compass

2. Get Your Hands On Good Data
There is so much better access to data today than ever before. Real estate developers don’t have to guess anymore. They can look at historical and real-time data, and make solid, informed decisions about the direction of the market, where specific acquisition opportunities are, and where the market is softening and could impact resale prices. - Kent ClothierReal Estate Worldwide

3. Build Relationships First
Real estate is all about relationships and knowing people who can get access to deals at a discount, fix up portions of the house for a reasonable price should you need it, and who have experienced foreclosures and tenant evictions. Leverage the wealth in their experiences and connectivity. When I was a first-timer, these relationships were built on the ground. Today, these can be built online. - Sohin ShahInstaLend

4. Be Creative
Partner with an owner rather than buying, or partner with a not-for-profit organization or educational/health institution who could use your expertise or proceeds from a sale. The current market is slow, so a lot of developers aren't starting new projects. But the market will turn around, hopefully just in time for your new project if you start it this quarter. - Deborah Rabbino BhattVesta New York

5. Create Your Dream Team
Development is truly a team sport. It's absolutely crucial to build an amazing team, starting with building relationships at your local planning department, local banks and local brokers to bounce ideas around and include in your plans. Next, you must seek out contractors that not only fit with your style of business but also work within a contracted budget. Always be building your dream team. - Garratt HasenstabThe Mountain Life Companies™

6. Consider Alternative Housing Arrangements
With the legitimization of the sharing and gig economies, developers need to build residences that facilitate Accessory Dwelling Units and shared living arrangements. Homeowners want the option to monetize their home, have a better in-law living arrangement or host their college-aged son or daughter in a way that isn't available in conventional building models. - John Grafft, GRAFFT Real Estate

7. Look At Environments That Create A Good Experience
Fifteen years ago when I started in this industry, the large anchor tenants determined the success of a shopping center. Now, the success is dependent on the environment the developer and tenants create. People are no longer visiting stores because they need to buy something, rather because they are looking to do something. Dining and entertainment have become the key players. - Bethany BabcockForesite Commercial Real Estate

8. Know That Renters Are Savvier Than Ever
Developers focus on architecture, floor plans and amenities, but they don't always think about the resident experience from initial touch point to signed lease to living in the building. Today's renters expect a high level of service from two-day shipping to chatbots. How easy is it to make a maintenance request? How fast was it completed? Services are key to winning renters and retaining them. - Aaron GalvinLuxury Living Chicago Realty

9. Know Your Rights Regarding Land, Air And Water
Building tech is the new perennial success factor, but few have noticed the impact that land rights and regulation have had on development. Zoning, allowed uses, ecological impact and other land use questions have had the single greatest impact on development, locally and globally. With time, we'll see more drones in the skies. Air rights will become a development question we've yet to understand. - Kristin GeentyThe Geenty Group, Realtors

10. Turn To Pre-Manufactured Materials
When I started my firm in 2013, there were tons of questions around how pre-manufactured/fabricated materials could be used for quicker build times, more predictable build costs and larger finish material options. This wasn't a complete reality at that time however, but now it is a complete reality. So much so that you can now pre-design your cabinetry and have it drop shipped for installation. - Ridaa MuradBREAKFORM | RE

11. Implement Sustainable Development Goals
We did not have the sustainable development goals that developers do today, mostly because it was not as much of a global conversation as it is now. Sustainability, a nearly imperative aspect, along with energy efficiency have become ubiquitous in new construction, and developers both old and new face the pressure of “green” budget and competition with developers skilled in green construction. - Gary BeasleyRoofstock

12. Talk To Top Local Agents
Any real estate developer needs to talk to local top agents to gain insight. Do not assume you know. Each area and community has certain expectations and good agents will know how and where to point you! I work with flippers and smaller developers who move product quickly when they listen to where the niches are! - Nancy KowalikNancy Kowalik Real Estate Group

13. Activate Common Spaces
Companies like WeWork have changed the paradigm for amenities, leveraging them for experiences. Activated spaces spark connection and infuse meaning into one’s work as a platform to support a person’s needs. This concept has exploded into every realm of real estate, particularly into multifamily. Such amenities are now viewed within the scope of a service and how it can best serve the resident. - Benjamin PleatCobu (formerly known as Doorbell Communities)

14. Plan Ahead For Future Trends
Autonomous driving, for instance, might be our future. If so, there probably won't be a need for as much parking as we're used to. So, if you need to build a building today, build it for today with a plan for the future. Some developers are building parking garages that can easily be converted to more office space. Developers didn't think that way before, but the time is now to plan ahead. - Vinny DiMeglioJones Lang LaSalle

Feb20

66-story hotel and condo skyscraper near LA Live moving ahead

By Bianca Barragan for Curbed Los Angeles | Read the original article here

A 66-story skyscraper planned for a parking lot next to Hotel Figueroa in Downtown Los Angeles appears to be moving ahead on schedule.

Called Figueroa Centre, the proposed glassy condo and hotel tower has been quiet for a little more than a year. But now plans for the CallisonRKTL-designed project at Figueroa and Ninth are slated to be presented tonight to the Downtown LA Neighborhood Council’s planning and land use committee.

Figueroa Centre, as proposed, would hold 220 hotel rooms, 200 condos, about 79,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, and possibly office space, and 578 parking spaces. The project’s developer, Regalian LLC, is seeking approvals from the city to sell alcohol in up to six locations within the project.

Slated to break ground in 2020, the tower would rise in a neighborhood that is expanding vertically.

A few blocks west of the site, the third and final tower in the Metropolis project is slated to open later this year. At a site near the 110 Freeway and Olympic Boulevard, a development with a trio of high-rises up to 65 stories is working its way through the city approvals process now.

Regalian has projected its skyscraper project could be finished as soon as 2023.

Feb13

Construction kicks off on Frank Gehry’s next big project—a mixed-use complex on Bunker Hill

By Bianca Barragan for Curbed Los Angeles | Read the original article here

After nearly two decades of jumping planning hurdles, a $1 billion residential, hotel, and shopping complex designed by Frank Gehry is underway across from Walt Disney Concert Hall.

At a groundbreaking ceremony today, the architect said that when the dual-towered development is complete, “it’ll be the place to be.”

Formerly known as the Grand Avenue Project and now dubbed the Grand, the development will bring to Bunker Hill a 20-story, 309-room Equinox hotel and a 39-story residential tower with 400 residences including over 80 units of affordable housing. The complex will also hold more than 176,000 square feet of restaurants and shops, plus a public plaza.

Developer Related Companies and Gehry emphasized that the Grand would provide a key connector that would draw even more people to Bunker Hill, which is already home to not only the Disney Hall but the popular Broad museum and the Grand Avenue outpost of the Museum of Contemporary Art.

The concert hall never quite met expectations for connecting people to the street, Gehry said—“until now.”

The Grand’s two towers will rise on a block bordered by First Street, Grand Avenue, Second Street, and Olive. Demolition on the site began in November, clearing away a “temporary” parking structure that long occupied the site.

The development, a partnership between the developer, the city, the county, and the former community redevelopment agency, has been in the works for about 17 years, estimates Kenneth Himmel, president of Related Urban. While other parts of the multi-parcel project—the Emerson apartment tower and Grand Park—were built out, the mixed-use portion took longer to get off the ground.

In November, developer Related Companies partnered with CORE US, a China-based partnership between China Harbour Engineering Company and CCCG Overseas Real Estate, and secured $630 million that allowed The Grand to finally get going.

The project’s extended timeline was addressed then dismissed by most of the speakers at the groundbreaking.

“A city isn’t defined by how quickly it gets built,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “It’s defined by how well it gets built.”

Feb6

Team chosen to lead Silver Lake Reservoir master plan update

By Bianca Barragan for Curbed Los Angeles | Read the original article here

Landscape architecture firm Hargreaves Associates has been chosen to guide the future of the Silver Lake Reservoir. The team, one of three finalists for the job, was approved Friday by the board of public works.

A spokesperson for the engineering bureau says the department should receive the last needed approval—from Mayor Eric Garcetti—by the end of the week and kick off the outreach process shortly after.

Though the Silver Lake Reservoir was once used as a water source and water storage for the city, it’s now transitioning to a new role as a community space and asset. Updating the master plan—a process which is being led by the bureau—will steer future improvements and reuse of the reservoir site.

“Key to their success is their expertise in community engagement, which will be an important aspect of the planning process,” City Engineer Gary Lee Moore said in December, when Hargreaves was recommended for the job by the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering.

Hargreaves faces the daunting task of attempting to balance the past and present of the reservoir with its possible future.

The firm will need to take into account the needs and desires of the surrounding neighborhood as well as the reservoir’s “historic character, its use as a community gathering place, its strategic location within the Silver Lake community, its visual impact, its long-term environmental value, and its potential for a unique blend of passive and recreational opportunities,” the bureau said.

The last time a master plan was adopted for Silver Lake and the adjoining Ivanhoe Reservoir was in 2000, when the reservoirs were still a part of LA’s water supply network. That plan steered the installation of walking trails around the complex and the opening of the Silver Lake Meadow in 2011.

Hargreaves Associates has another high-profile project underway in the city—the park that will eventually open beneath the new Sixth Street bridge.

Feb1

Here’s Why Athletes & Celebrities Are Investing in the Hamptons Right Now, Presented by Compass Group

By Gary Duff for Hamptons Magazine | Read the original article here

With over 12 years of real estate experience and $1.5 billion in real estate sales, Compass' Matt Breitenbach has made a career selling the East End to some of the world's most highest profile buyers. From basketball players Jason Kidd and Kyrie Irving to actor Jeremy Piven and singer Trey Songz, the approach is always client first and personable.

In his latest chat with Hamptons, Breitenbach shares the property-buying secrets that both athletes and celebrities have taken advantage of in the East End and how the Hamptons have become one of the hottest places to invest right now.

On How the Hamptons Have Become a Trendy Spot to Buy
Real estate, much like entrepreneurism, is a very trendy topic right now. People like real estate—including me—because it’s something you can control, it’s a harder asset, it’s tangible, and you can look at it as an investment and revenue stream. If you want your money to make money, this is the place you need to buy property in.

On Why Athletes Have Made the Hamptons Their New Home
The Hamptons are a target market for athletes. It’s a brand now. We used to be so tied to New York City, and I think that umbilical cord is still there, but it’s not as strong as it was. The buyer has diversified. Basketball player Kyrie Irving, who I rented a house to last year, wanted to come here as soon as he finished a press conference with the Celtics; Kevin Durant, when he was getting recruited to the Golden State Warriors, had his meetings in the Hamptons, and although there are parts of the East End that are flashy, he wanted to come out here and clear his head and meet with some teams in an atmosphere such as this. They’ve realized how relaxing it is and how amazing the local population is. There’s a level of privacy and an atmosphere that is congruous to them.

On How Buyers Are Using the East End as an Investment
Some just want to rent a house in the Hamptons, there are others who want to purchase a home for family, and then you have those in the development end, who want to invest in the East End as a vehicle to make money for them. We're working to help make them money and a return on it. Some of those areas mix: a veteran buyer, who may want to purchase a home, might come out here and spot where they could invest, and a renter, who comes to the Hamptons seasonally, might eventually start to see where they could potentially buy property. The more and more these athletes and celebrities are buying in the Hamptons, the more people are realizing how special the area is. The secret is out.

On Approaching the Celebrity Client With Empathy
I try to look at real estate less as a sales transactions and more as a trusted real estate wealth advisor. I try to be empathetic to their situation, to be a source of knowledge, to see what they need, and listen to them. Once they're here, you end up being a concierge as well. They're just people, and they want you to treat them as people.

On Building a Private Marketplace for Buyers
Sometimes people don't want the spotlight that comes with placing a high-end property on the market. There's stuff under-the-radar that we can find or help create. If you have a need and this is what you want, you can come to me. If you need three acres on the ocean and it's not listed, I'm going to try and find it. It's a service advantage for my clients, because we do have these connections in the Hamptons. Sometimes when I'm searching for the perfect property for a client, I get other things in my quiver, which we can utilize too. For buyers and renters that come through our network, we have a multitude of different under-the-radar opportunities. Developing this private marketplace allows our team to gather and organize the correct market material to present to any client and represent them in the best way we can. We're willing to take an out-of-the-box approach to make sure the client is serviced the right way.

On How Compass' Culture is Elevating the Real Estate Industry
The sports and entertainment division culture is amazing. Kofi Nartey, who runs the division, knows everyone by name. Everyone is friendly and collaborative. And it starts with Robert Reffkin's morals and how he's built this company and recruits. Compass wants to get the right people in. What's most amazing about Compass is their streamlined processes, which hold every market to the same standards from here to Los Angeles. No matter where you are, the vetting process for agents is the same. Compass is trying to amplify the skill sets of our agents and in turn, elevate the real estate industry as a whole.

Jan30

24-acre development in the Valley humming along

By Bianca Barragan | Read the original article here

The first piece of a massive 24-acre residential, retail, and office project in Chatsworth is already in place. But there’s a lot more to come.

Ryan Hekmat and Jason Larian of Uncommon Developers gave a status update on their sprawling project at 20000 Prairie Street, the former home of a Los Angeles Times printing plant.

The plant has been renovated to serve as the headquarters of MGA Entertainment, the makers of big-eyed Bratz dolls. MGA Entertainment’s chief executive is Larian’s father, and this project in the northwestern San Fernando Valley—where big development projects are ramping up—will be Uncommon Development’s first “big test.”

MGA has rented all but 40,000 square feet of the 255,000-square-foot building. Larian says the remaining space will be marketed to “ancillary businesses in the creative industry,” like companies that develop video games.

Not far from the office building, 188 apartments are under construction as part of the first phase of the project’s residential portion. The apartments are on track to be completed in the summer, with the first residents slated to move in around August.

About 500 more apartments are planned as part of later phases of the four-building development, all of which are expected to be in place in 2022.

MGA employees will get first dibs on the apartments when they open and will get special rental rates as an incentive to move in. Larian and Hekmat note that the project is also near local colleges (California State University Northridge and Pierce College are both less than a 10 minute drive away), and they expect students to sign leases too.

The project will contain standard amenities (pools, outdoor spaces) but “24” will also include restaurants, an amphitheater for live performances, a preschool, and walking and exercise paths that wind throughout the development. There are also plans to host farmers markets.

“The neighborhood doesn’t have amenitized living like what we’re providing,” says Larian.

That might not be the case for much longer. To the south, in Warner Center, a steady rush of projects are unfurling, both in the works and under construction. The projects include a major redevelopment of Warner Center Corporate Park that will add a 24-story hotel, a trio of 15-story office buildings, and roughly 1,000 condos and apartments.

Jan23

US Bank Tower on the market

By Bianca Barragan for Curbed Los Angeles | Read the original article here

Downtown LA’s U.S. Bank Tower, the second-tallest building west of the Mississippi by a spire, is for sale.

The asking price is reportedly $500 per square foot, or approximately $700 million, says commercial real estate publication Real Estate Finance & Investment, which was the first to report the news.

The seller, Singapore-based OUE Ltd., purchased the tower on the border of the Financial District and Bunker Hill in 2013 for $367.5 million.

Beginning in 2015, OUE performed a $50 million round of upgrades to the building, revamping the building’s Fifth Street frontage, and adding an observation deck, that famed glass slide, and a giant LED screen inside the building’s glass-fronted ground-floor lobby.

“We’ve put a lot of money into it,” Peter Johnston, senior vice president with OUE USA Services Corp., told the Downtown News. Johnston noted that under OUE, the tower has gone from being roughly half empty to almost 85 percent leased.

“I just think we’re interested in testing the market,” said Johnston.

It would be a big test. A recent comparable sale, of Bunker Hill’s One California Plaza, yielded $460 a square foot, for a total of $465 million, notes the News.

Downtown’s office market is on the rise, with vacancy rates for the most in-demand and up-to-date office space dropping to 16.5 percent vacant last quarter compared to 17.6 vacant a year ago, according to the Los Angeles Times. Rental prices for that same type of office space have gone up slightly too.

A large contributor to the heightened demand comes from the increase in new residential projects Downtown and in entertainment and food options in the area, JLL real estate broker and office sales expert Tom Bohlinger told the Times.

“We have a demographic now that loves the urban environment,” Bohlinger said.

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