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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.

Jan16

Plans to build LA’s new tallest tower on Bunker Hill moving forward

By Bianca Barragan | Read the original article here

Developers of what’s posed to be the tallest building in Los Angeles and west of the Mississippi River are moving forward with their plans to transform the site of a Downtownhotel into a glittering 77-story hotel and condo tower.

A representative for the China-based developer, Shenzhen New World Group, is slated to give a presentation on the project to members of the Downtown LA Neighborhood Counciltonight.

The presentation comes at an interesting time for the developer. It was revealed over the weekend that Shenzhen New World and the chairman of its board, Wei Huang, were named in an FBI warrant served as part of a federal corruption probe into Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar, who represents Downtown.

The neighborhood council’s approval, if given, would be taken into account by Los Angeles City Council committees as the project moves through the planning approval process.

The Bunker Hill project, designed by DiMarzio Kato Architecture, would involve the reuse of the existing 13-story L.A. Downtown Hotel near Fourth and Figueroa. A school that already operates out of a building on the site would be housed in the first floor of the hotel building. The second and third floors would be converted to 224 apartments ranging from studios to two-bedrooms.

To make way for the new high-rise, the hotel’s podium, which houses its lobby and convention areas, would be demolished. The 77-story building that would take its place would hold 600 hotel rooms and 242 condos. The tower’s five-story podium would hold the hotel’s amenities, including convention space, restaurants, and meeting rooms. Pools, a lounge, and gardens would sit on the podium’s rooftop.

Under city code, the project is only required to provide 222 parking spaces, but, as proposed it would offer 552 spots.

The project site is 1,500 feet away from the Grand Avenue Arts/Bunker Hill station of Metro’s Regional Connector, which is slated to be complete in late 2021. It’s also across the street from a 41-story building planned for the World Trade Center site.

Jan2

13 Real Estate Pros Share What They Wish They Knew As Newbies

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

Entering any new industry is always daunting. No matter how prepared or educated you are, there will always be some surprising new things you learn along the way.

This is especially true in real estate, where both local and national market trends can heavily impact the way you do business. We asked a panel of Forbes Real Estate Council members what they wish they'd known before they entered the industry. Below is their best advice for real estate newcomers.

1. Work On Your Business, Not In Your Business 

It's surprising how much time you can spend working in your business (building the website, paying bills). The key is to delegate everything someone else could be doing. If you are making copies and you could pay someone $10 to do the work, hire someone to do that work. Your time is much better spent on money-making activities for your business. Learn to work on your business and not in your business. - Pamela J. GoodwinGoodwin Commercial

2. It's Not As Easy As It Looks On TV 

There's a lot that goes into making deals happen. It's exciting but difficult. Television shows make our job look like lots of fun, and also very easy. Working in real estate is a lot of fun, but it is rarely easy. - Deborah Rabbino BhattVesta New York

3. Relationships Matter 

Relationships are the foundation of all strong businesses. However, I could not have predicted just how critical they are in successful real estate. The time, connection and authenticity you choose to step into directly correlates with the returns you receive, both financial and in fulfillment. Knowing that would have supported me in my early years. - Susan Leger FerraroPeace, Love, Happiness Real Estate

4. Learn To Love Problem-Solving 

Being a real estate agent isn't about your looks or your taste in homes. Working in real estate means learning to love solving problems. Every transaction has nuances, and learning to navigate every possible situation comes with experience. When you are starting out it is important to approach any potential problems with the utmost care and attention to help your client and educate yourself. - Beatrice de JongOpen Listings (YC W15)

5. Take The Time To Know What You Don't Know 

Real estate is a business of liability. Unfortunately, many newcomers are so eager to get their first deal closed that they don't take the time to learn ethics or the impact of their words on the transaction. Take two years to be a novice, become an assistant to a pro or join a firm which offers comprehensive training. Learn how to actually do the job well before going into the field. - Courtney PoulosACME Real Estate

6. Keep Your Clients Close

The first company you work with will probably not be your last. Use an email address and phone number with your clients that you take with you to your next firm. Not every one of your friend, family or acquaintances will consider hiring or referring you. Ouch! - Joe HoughtonRE/MAX Results/The Minnesota Property Group Team

7. You Are Your Own Best Advocate 

From day one I realized that nobody was going to make sure I have a ton of leads (buyers and sellers) to work, nor would they make sure I had enough closings to cover my bills for the month. I’ve woken up every day for the past 20 years without anyone spoon-feeding me business. Closings didn’t happen overnight as I hoped. It was a solid six months of procuring leads on my own and lots of patience. - Angela YaunDay Realty Group

8. You Won't Get Rich Quick 

This not a "get rich quick" business. I hear some people say they will jump in for a year or two, make a bunch of money and then do something else. If that is the motivation, this isn't the right business. This is a people business where you can make a living. I sincerely care about my clients and their needs before my own pocket. Building it through that type of caring and integrity takes time. - Michelle AmesHorsePower Team Texas/Independent Realty

9. The Highest Bidder Doesn't Always Get The Deal 

Even if you are rich or have enough money to buy the property, it doesn't mean you'll get it. Offering the highest price won't necessarily make the seller choose you — it's all about the surety of closing. If the seller believes you are able to close the deal (raise enough money, get a loan, etc.), then you are well-positioned to get the deal, even if you are not the highest bidder. - Ellie PerlmanBlue Lake Capital LLC

10. You Need To Block Out The Noise 

Block out the noise of all the new, shiny objects or tools that vendors try to sell you that will improve your business or negative agents who don’t do much or tell you how to run your business. Take on a mentor or pay for a business coach and listen to those who are successful and help others become successful. - Michael BuiEquity One Real Estate

11. Actively Work To Generate Leads Every Day 

Everything starts with lead generation. Your property marketing may be great, your website may look amazing and your team may be ready to serve. That said, if you don't have clients, all of that means nothing. Agents, especially newer agents, must focus on daily lead generation. This can be in the form of calls, door-knocking, networking, open houses or any of a number of ways to reach clients. - Kofi NarteyThe Nartey Group - Compass

12. You'll Spend Most Of Your Time On Acquisition 

Your main focus and the majority of your time is on customer acquisition. You could be an amazing real estate agent with your negotiating and customer service skills, but that won't mean anything if you nobody knows who you are. While it can be costly at first, you need to get your name out there and build a steady pipeline of clients to be truly successful long-term. - Brad LeCompass

13. Document Everything 

I've known them for years. I was in their wedding. My dad was in whatever with their dad. So you trust them, right? Don't. Thoroughly examine all economic activity documented, especially earnings and commission. People remember things differently at the most inopportune times, like closing. Buy a pen or e-signature service today. - Michael J. PolkPolk Properties / Matrix Properties

Dec20

Q&A with Kofi Nartey on What Athletes Need to Know About Real Estate

By Charles Frazier for City National Bank | Read the original article here

This interview is part of our series, Building Your Team — Helping Professional Athletes Build Their Team of Professionals.

Many professional athletes come into their wealth at an early age, but may not be prepared to manage such a sudden, large influx of earnings. Connecting athletes with trusted advisors is imperative to ensure that these individuals are able to make their wealth last throughout their lifetimes — not just at the peak of their careers.

Professional athletes often find themselves in a position to purchase sizable real estate assets at a young age. Whether it be buying or leasing homes, their real estate needs tend to be career specific and benefit from having the expertise of a broker with a s­­ports and entertainment client base.

Kofi Nartey is a celebrity and luxury real estate expert and national director of the Compass Sports and Entertainment Division. Kofi has been a correspondent on celebrity and luxury real estate for more than 100 national television and print media outlets. He was also a regular featured agent on HGTV's Selling LA. His clientele includes such high-profile professional athletes and entertainers as Kevin Durant, Derek Fisher, Iggy Azalea, Nick Young, James Van Der Beek, Neve Campbell, Candace Parker and Michael Jordan. In 2017, his book, “Sellebrity: How to Build a Successful Sports & Entertainment Based Business," became an Amazon best-seller.

Charles Frazier, sports and entertainment banking team lead at City National, sat down with Nartey to discuss how athletes can best navigate their often complicated real estate decisions.

Charles Frazier: How did you get started in the sports and entertainment side of the real estate industry?

Kofi Nartey: I went to University of California, Berkeley for undergrad where I played football. When I finished there, I got a brief shot with the Oakland Raiders. I also got into acting for about 10 years.

Because I had a background in sports and entertainment, and because I knew that their lifestyles were different, as well as having a lot of friends and clients at the time who were being taken advantage of, I knew that was an area where I could help them. So I started focusing on sports and entertainment real estate in 2007, and I haven't looked back since.

Frazier: Why should a professional athlete hire a sports-specific real estate agent?

Nartey: The main reason — we can help them avoid some of the pitfalls and mistakes that people will make if they don't have experience working with someone in sports and entertainment. There are things that are different about the way most athletes live and work, and understanding the nuanced differences of their lifestyles is crucial.

They can be traded at a moment's notice, and they have increased privacy and security needs.

For example, I had a client who was traded to one team. After they signed a lease, they were traded again to another team. Normally, they'd be on the hook for the lease for 12 months. But we put provisions in our clients' leases that allow them to get out of leases early in the event that they do get traded. We've identified nearly 100 different tips and tools, resources, and even contract addendums that protect our sports and entertainment clients better and that are specific to their needs.

Frazier: Given that many professional athletes often have to relocate, what are some of the mistakes that you've seen professional athletes make when not choosing a sports-specific real estate agent?

Nartey: It begins with the decision to buy or lease. For example, if they are going to a new team in a city that they've never lived in and don't really have contacts, it might make sense to lease first.

It also depends on the length of their contract. If they're just there for a year or two years, leasing might still be the better option. There are some rare opportunities when they're moving to an up-and-coming market where they would want to buy because the market is hot.

If an athlete is planning on spending his or her off seasons somewhere else, then that's another thing to consider.

It can also boil down to very simple things like countertop heights. If an athlete is 6-foot-6 or taller, for example, we don't show them places with counter tops that are built for someone 5-foot-3.

Finally, you need to factor in where the athlete works. In football for example, they practice in one area and play games in another. Often those can be as much as an hour apart. If they're not dealing with a real estate agent who thinks about that, the agent might put them close to the stadium thinking, "Well, that's where they play on Sundays." Well, they only play there on Sundays, sometimes Mondays, and only half the season. The rest of the time they're on the road. The other four to five days of the week they're going to the practice facility, which means proximity to that is much more important so as to avoid fines for being late.

Those are all things that real estate agents may not think about when working with an athlete if they don't have that experience and knowledge.

Frazier: How is working with athletes different from your regular residential buying or leasing client?

Nartey: Most athletes and entertainers make money for a small portion of the year. So that's when I'm calling someone like yourself, who has people who can lend to someone based on that type of income. Because that can be a big challenge when trying to get financing.

One of our former clients, who was buying a home in another area, was working with an agent who didn't have entertainment experience and the agent referred him to a lender who did not have experience working with clients with fluctuating income either. At the final hour of the negotiations, they had removed all contingencies, which meant the deposit on the home was at risk. The lender came back and said, "Well, we can't give you the loan."

The athlete had almost a six-figure deposit that they could have lost. I had to hop on the phone with the other side of the transaction to negotiate getting them some extra time so that I could find them a lender who might be able to provide them with financing despite their unique income situation.

Frazier: When a professional athlete is looking to lease a home or purchase a home, what are some pieces of advice you give them on why they should choose a specific home?

Nartey: We discuss what their needs are both short term and long term. Is this a place they're going to spend their off seasons? Are they going to try to raise a family here?

With that information, the main focus becomes lifestyle. Proximity to the things that are a part of their lives — schools, practice facilities, gyms, entertainment.

Also there are privacy and security concerns. Making sure that they are either in a gated community or a concierge secure building so you don't have TMZ rolling up to your house, you don't have stalkers or fans who can come straight to your front door. Also, when you're traveling, we want to make sure your home is secure and private.

As for any client, real estate is a long-term investment strategy, and with the professional athlete you need to strategize based on the duration of time the athlete thinks they are going to be living there.

Dec17

See the two 23-story buildings set to replace a Koreatown parking garage

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

New renderings presented to the Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council offer a look at two new towers proposed for Koreatown—one of many projects in the neighborhood from landlord and developer Jamison Services.

First proposed in 2016, this project at 3600 Wilshire would take the form of two 23-story buildings with 760 studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments and about 6,000 square feet of commercial space.

The new project would replace an existing parking garage bounded by Seventh Street, Harvard Boulevard, and Kingsley Drive.

The Perkins+Will-designed project would also include new landscaping along its borders. Renderings and plans for the project show it would include a pool deck on each building and private balconies.

The towers would sit on a podium of parking and retail. The project would include about 1500 parking spaces.

The timeline for the project is unclear.

Jamison has a number of projects in the works in Koreatown, including plans to convert a 13-story office building nearby into apartments.

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