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Kofi named an Icon of Beverly Hills

Modern Luxury Beverly Hills – the official publication of the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce – has named The Nartey Group's Kofi Nartey an Icon of Beverly Hills, an honor that included a write-up in the Fall/Winter issue of the magazine. Kofi's interview can be found below, and can also be read in the magazine's digital edition.

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Kofi Nartey: Celebrity & luxury homes specialist and National Director of the Sports & Entertainment Division – Compass Real Estate – The Nartey Group

As Director of the Sports & Entertainment Division at Compass Real Estate, Kofi Nartey uses his 15+ years of expertise in L.A.’s luxury real estate market to help his A-list clientele realize their goals when buying, selling or investing in property. Nartey’s understanding of these unique communities come from his own experiences playing sports on both collegiate and professional levels as well as a 10-year acting career and continuing to serve as a celebrity & luxury real estate correspondent for over 100 national television and print media outlets. Recently, Nartey added author to his roster of achievement with the publication of Sellebrity: How to Build a Successful Sports and Entertainment Based Business.

How did your sports and entertainment careers inform your work in real estate?

Both gave me exposure to the unique lifestyles and requirements of athletes and entertainers. I noticed a need for specialized services to guard their privacy and protect them contractually from situations they never would have thought of. We have been fortunate to build what is arguably the largest national database of celebrity, sports and luxury real estate clientele, which is a huge advantage. I also obtained my MBA to bring more of a business approach to my real estate business.

How does the Beverly Hills community inspire your work?

Relationships are everything, so having made great business and personal connections in Beverly Hills has been key. There is also a lot of overlap with our clientele, as luxury homeowners also enjoy luxury goods and services, so having referrals for everything from watches to wealth managers and single malt scotches to private aviation has been tremendously helpful.

What’s on the horizon for 2019?

More growth and more giving through our family’s Nartey Sports Foundation. We donate a portion of every real estate deal to this cause that supports underserved youth in sports. Professionally, 2019 will bring a slight shift in the market, so we will continue to be the advisors that help our clients make the best decisions.


Hollywood and Highland shopping center reportedly for sale

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

Ownership of the Hollywood and Highland shopping center could be changing. The Real Deal reports that owner CIM Group and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority have listed the roughly 450,000-square-foot tourist magnet for sale.

Sources tell The Real Deal a sale could bring in as much as $300 million.

Located along the Walk of Fame, Hollywood and Highland stands out, perhaps in large part because of it unusual design, inspired by a Babylonian film set from a 1916 epic directed by Birth of a Nation’s D.W. Griffith.

The retail center opened in 2001 and has been owned by CIM since 2004. Hollywood and Highland holds a Sephora, a Forever 21, and a fancy bowling alley. Rascal Flatts was supposed to have a restaurant in the mall, but the country music trio was later sued by their partner in the restaurant deal (the partner claimed the musicians pocketed the money instead of using it to build the eatery).

The shopping center sits above Metro’s Hollywood/Highland subway station, and its namesake intersection received a scramble crosswalk two years ago.

The sale would not include the neighboring Dolby Theatre, which hosts the Oscars and is owned by the city. (CIM is the operator of the theater.)

Head over to The Real Deal for the full story.


Big Bunker Hill project by Frank Gehry getting underway this month

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

A highly anticipated apartment, hotel, and shopping complex designed by Frank Gehry atop Bunker Hill takes a big step forward today. Developers for The Grand (formerly the Grand Avenue Project) announced they have secured $630 million in construction financing for the $1 billion project.

Pre-construction work, including demolition on a parking structure on the property, will begin this month on the Grand Avenue site. The property sits just east of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, as new renderings show.

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for sometime in the “upcoming months,” say developers Related Companies and the China-based CORE US, a partnership between China Harbour Engineering Company and CCCG Overseas Real Estate. Related has long said it plans to break ground on the project in 2018.

When complete, The Grand will include a 20-story hotel, retail and entertainment, and a 39-story residential tower with 128 condos, 214 market-rate apartments, and 86 affordable housing units. The Grand’s two towers will rise on a parking lot just east of the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Any forward movement on the project will likely be welcomed by boosters who’ve waited for over a decade to see the bulk of the project come to fruition. (Related once hoped to get the project underway in 2007.)

Other elements of the Grand Avenue project have already been built, including the Emerson apartment tower and Grand Park.

Bunker Hill is on an upswing, development-wise. A major project planned at the corner of Fourth and Hill would bring an 88-story tower, hundreds of hotel rooms and condos, retail space, and an elementary school to the neighborhood.

At the site of a former Marriott on Figueroa near Third Street, a 77-story tower is planned that would be taller than the Wilshire Grand. And at the site of the World Trade Center on Figueroa and Fourth, prolific landlord and developer Jamison plans to put in a 41-story tower with 750 residential units.


Santa Monica ballot measure would require ‘supermajority’ vote for taller, denser buildings

By Jenna Chandler for Curbed Los Angeles | Read the original article here

Development battles in Santa Monica have largely fizzled out. Now, two City Councilmembers seeking reelection say they want to end the building wars for good.

A measure on the November 6 ballot would require developers to get the approval of a “supermajority” of the Santa Monica City Council to deviate from the city’s building height and density limits.

If Measure SM passes, for the next 10 years, developers wanting to build taller or denser would need a “yes” vote from five of seven members of the City Council. Right now, the threshold is four votes.

That’s an important distinction, says Kevin McKeown, who co-sponsored the measure with Sue Himmelrich. Both councilmembers are seeking reelection.

Historically, votes on some of the biggest, most high-profile development projects in Santa Monica have been split, McKeown says.

“Measure SM eliminates those squeakers that previously got through on the barest majority vote,” he says. “It is significantly more difficult for a developer to earn that fifth vote to go beyond our adopted plans.”

Councilmembers Gleam Davis and Terry O’Day oppose Measure SM. They argue it would actually incite more fights over development.

“I was so looking forward to having an election on the ballot where we would not have development wars,” Davis said in June, when the council discussed it. “Now we are voluntarily inviting election wars.”

“The circus is coming to town again,” O’Day said. “Here’s the sideshow for development fighting.”

Two years ago, a far more extreme proposal to curtail building heights in Santa Monica appeared on the ballot. Measure LV would have subjected any new construction taller than 32 feet—the equivalent of two stories—to voter approval.

That measure was defeated at the ballot box, with more than 56 percent of residents voting against it.

But McKeown says it would be a “mistake” to ignore the 44 percent of residents who voted in favor of Measure LV.

If developers want “to exceed our limits in any way, they’d better come to us with a truly spectacular project,” he says.

Measure SM has an exemption for housing projects that are 100 percent affordable and projects on school district property. And, according to the Santa Monica Lookout, the measure wouldn’t affect development projects that have already been proposed.

The measure was placed on the November 6 ballot measure on June 26 on a 4-2 vote of the City Council.

“The premise of this supermajority provision is that if something is a really good idea, it will get five votes,” Davis said at the time. This measure “isn’t getting five votes tonight.”

“By its own definition, it might not be a very good idea,” she said.


Tunneling begins on Metro’s subway to the Westside

By Elijah Chiland for Curbed Los Angeles | Read the original article here

Tunneling is officially underway on Metro’s Purple Line subway extension to the Westside of Los Angeles.

The first round of tunneling started Tuesday beneath the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and La Brea Avenue.

Twin 450-foot-long tunnel boring machines (dubbed Elsie and Soyeon) will carve out about 60 feet of tunnel daily for the next two years, en route to the Wilshire/Western station, where Purple Line trains now turn back for Downtown Los Angeles.

The first phase of the Purple Line extension broke ground in 2014 and is expected to open in 2023. The $2.82 billion project will add a little under 4 miles of track to the subway route, bringing it to the intersection of Wilshire and La Cienega boulevards.

Eventually, the extension will bring the train all the way to the VA hospital, just west of the 405 on the border of Westwood and Brentwood. The project is being constructed in three segments.

Phase two will run between La Cienega and Constellation Boulevard in Century City. The third phase will add a stop near UCLA en route to the VA.

Altogether, the extension will add roughly 9 miles to the Purple Line and is expected to carry nearly 60,000 riders daily.

But the project isn’t popular with Beverly Hills residents and school officials who have sued repeatedly to block the second leg of the project, arguing that tunneling work beneath the Beverly Hills High School campus could pose a threat to the safety of students. Metro officials have steadfastly denied these claims.

Last week, students, teachers, and school administrators in the city gathered at Will Rogers Memorial Park to protest the subway project.

Tunneling work hasn’t started yet on the second phase of the project, and Metro spokesperson Dave Sotero told Curbed last week that the agency selected a route that travels beneath the high school because that route “provides the greatest benefits with fewest impacts.” Another proposed route along Santa Monica Boulevard would have intersected with an earthquake fault.

Sotero says Metro will continue to look for unmapped oil wells beneath Beverly Hills out of “an abundance of caution.”

Protests and legal challenges notwithstanding, Metro expects all three phases of the project to be complete by 2026.


Kofi Nartey accepted into Forbes Real Estate Council

10/11/18 | Beverly Hills, CA - Celebrity & luxury real estate specialist Kofi Nartey has been accepted into Forbes Real Estate Council.

Forbes Real Estate Council is an invitation-only community for executives in real estate.

Kofi and his team – The Nartey Group at Compass – have a long-standing reputation for servicing the real estate needs of celebrity and luxury clientele.

Kofi was vetted and selected by a review committee based on the depth and diversity of his experience. Criteria for acceptance include a track record of successfully impacting business growth metrics, as well as personal and professional achievements and honors.

“We are honored to welcome Kofi into the community,” said Scott Gerber, founder of Forbes Councils, the collective that includes Forbes Real Estate Business Council. “Our mission with Forbes Councils is to bring together proven leaders from every industry, creating a curated, social capital-driven network that helps every member grow professionally and make an even greater impact on the business world.”

As an accepted member of the Council, Kofi has access to a variety of exclusive opportunities designed to help him reach peak professional influence. He will connect and collaborate with other respected local leaders in a private forum. He will also be invited to work with a professional editorial team to share his expert insights in original business articles on Forbes.com, and to contribute to published Q&A panels alongside other experts.

Finally, Kofi will benefit from exclusive access to vetted business service partners, membership-branded marketing collateral, and the high-touch support of the Forbes Councils member concierge team.

"I am excited to partner with the Forbes brand, and specifically with the Forbes Real Estate Council. Our goals include providing expert service and resources to our clients, while positively impacting the real estate industry. This council will be an integral part of that mission."

About Forbes Councils
Forbes Councils is a collective of invitation-only communities created in partnership with Forbes and the expert community builders who founded Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC). In Forbes Councils, exceptional business owners and leaders come together with the people and resources that can help them thrive.


Netflix will lease second office tower under construction now in Hollywood

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

Netflix is doubling down on Hollywood. Today, developers of EPIC, a 13-story office development on Sunset Boulevard, announced that the streaming company has signed a lease for the entire building.

“EPIC is part of our continuing investment in LA and Hollywood,” Netflix’s chief financial officer David Wells said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be able to continue to grow our team there.”

EPIC is designed by Gensler, and will feature floor-to-ceiling windows, terraces, fire pits, and a rooftop deck. The building will also be outfitted with electric-car-charging stations, bike lockers, and showers.

Developed by Hudson Pacific Properties, EPIC is due to be complete in 2020. Netflix will move into the building in phases that same year. The company’s lease at EPIC expires in 2031.

Netflix has already rented the entirety of the 14-story ICON tower and almost 92,000 square in the five-story office building CUE. The company has extended its leases at both building for an additional five years.

Both ICON and CUE are located across the street from EPIC, on the Sunset Bronson Studios lot, and are also owned by Hudson Pacific Properties.


Google officially moves in to Playa Vista’s Spruce Goose hangar

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

Two years ago, Google started leasing a massive airplane hangar in Playa Vista. On Tuesday, the tech giant moved in, says Playa Vista’s corporate blog.

In terms of size, the new location is an indisputable upgrade. The Spruce Goose hangar—which once housed Howard Hughes’s Hughes H-4 Hercules—is three times the size of the company’s Frank Gehry-designed offices in Venice, where Google has held offices since 2011.

The move to Playa Vista has been a long time coming. Google leased the 319,000-square-foot, seven-story-tall space in 2016.

At the time, the company planned to build structures inside the hangar, creating three stories and a mezzanine, the Los Angeles Times reported. That was expected to result in 525,000 square feet of office space inside the hangar.

Google’s new home was owned by The Ratkovich Company until 2016, when it was sold, reportedly to Japanese investors, who paid more than $300 million for the hangar and three adjacent buildings. At the time, all four buildings were already leased to Google for a 16-year period.

Google also spent $120 million in 2014 to purchase 12 acres of vacant land right next to the hangar.

The Spruce Goose hangar was built in 1943 to house the H-4 Hercules, aka the Spruce Goose, an enormous flying boat designed by Hughes’ company during World War II. (It flew once, for one minute, in 1947.)

The Spruce Goose now resides in a aviation museum in Oregon.


Luxury Connect: Kofi Nartey on how to build a wealth advisement team

By Inman Staff Writer for Inman | Read the original article here

As a team leader and the national director of the Compass Sports & Entertainment Division, Kofi Nartey is well-versed in helping his luxury real estate clients manage their wealth portfolios. “The biggest challenge we face, I think, is helping clients understand our role as a wealth adviser — because they already have wealth advisers,” Nartey notes. “But because real estate is such a huge component of their portfolios, we inevitably are advising them on wealth accumulation, wealth distribution and diversifying their portfolios.”

Nartey will be on stage at Luxury Connect, October 16 through 18 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, to share more details about becoming a wealth adviser to the stars.

Being a wealth adviser at this level of real estate, Nartey explains, “is a lot like general wealth advising — you’re not going to save for your kids’ college through an investment that you can’t access until you’re 65 if you’re only 30. We utilize our industry expertise and knowledge.

And working with the clients’ other wealth advisers takes a team approach, he adds. “I played football in school and growing up — I’m used to working with a team where each person has a role. Sometimes they’re overlapping roles, but you know that they need the expertise that you bring and how your expertise contributes to the team. It’s not at all adversarial; you’re working together for the client.”

Hear what else Nartey has to say about becoming a real estate wealth adviser at the highest level of the business at Luxury Connect, October 16 through 18 in Beverly Hills.

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What do you think the luxury agent of the future looks like?

When you think of the word future, you tend to think of technology, and the luxury agent of the future will utilize technology to enhance the luxury service levels that they provide their clients. Luxury is still very service-driven; any luxury experience whether it’s real estate related, restaurant, shopping, it’s a combination of service and expertise. Some of these companies that are coming in and commoditizing the process and transaction, they’re missing the level of service. It makes it more efficient, seamless, interactive process; it makes us smarter at our jobs because we can access information more efficiently and with more accuracy, and we’re better able to then interpret that data for our clients because that’s the service we provide.

What do you feel are the challenges facing the luxury market this year?

We’re seeing a shift, a little bit, in the market. The pricing has gotten ahead of itself in many segments of the luxury market, with other factors coming into play whether it’s interest rates, tax ramifications, we’re seeing buyers sitting a little bit longer before pulling the trigger. That combination of buyer being a little less motivated and sellers pricing a little too high leads to some softening in the market.

What are some of the biggest problems you’ve faced in growing your business?

Managing client expectations in a shifting market can be a challenge. You have to have five ways to answer the same question, ways to get them to understand and even convince them beyond your words alone and rapport. You have to have market stats, the comps, your negotiating skills have to be up to par, you sometimes have to get them in the car and show them where the market is going with other properties.

How has technology changed your business, and what are you most intrigued by that you’re not currently using?

It comes back to what I said before — it’s made my business more efficient. We’re able to service our clients better and faster with more access to information. It’s not zero-sum either, it’s not like technology or no technology. I made up a term that I use in my presentation, tech luxe, technology empowering the luxury experience, and that’s what’s made our business better.

Most of the tools that have been most helpful are the Compass tools — everything from our Collections, Market Insights, agent networking tools, those are things that we use to serve clients. I don’t have any on my radar in terms of what I’ve seen, everything I’ve seen is being used, it’s just a matter of if it applies or not I think we’re going to see more virtual reality; we’re starting to see that already but I think we’ll see more of it, primarily because for the luxury consumer, their boundaries are much greater. They’re buying from coast to coast and they’re shopping from coast to coast, so if you can bring an enhanced shopping experience to them, you’ll have an advantage.

What’s the question you hear most from your clients? And what’s your answer to them?

The question that’s usually the broadest, most general question is “How’s the market?” And my answer is always, first, “It’s a tale of many markets,” and the second part of my answer is a question, “It depends on which market you’re referring to.” The more modestly priced properties are still selling well; you get multiple offers on $1 million and $2 million, and as you go into the high end market segment they’re sitting, and the ultra-high-end homes will sit for some time because we’re shifting at the higher end. It really depends on the market segment; if someone gives a canned answer, you should beware.


Apartment complex across from Hollywood Palladium sails through planning commission

By Jenna Chandler for Curbed Los Angeles | Read the original article here

Plans to build an apartment complex on a Hollywood strip mall that houses an Out of the Closet thrift shop breezed through the city’s planning commission on Thursday.

The seven-story building would bring 270 apartments to Sunset Boulevard and El Centro, plus new street-level shops and restaurants and parking for 361 cars in an underground garage.

Sidewalks will be widened and the building’s architecture will feature “different textures, colors, [and] materials,” making this pocket of Hollywood more walkable, city planning staffers wrote in a report to the commission.

“The project will support Hollywood’s identity as an area of commerce, while bringing much-needed housing,” the report says.

The complex would wipe out the existing strip mall, located at 6200 Sunset, which also holds a pharmacy and Discount Tire Centers.

It’ll rise immediately to the west of Gower Gulch, and it will face the historic Palladium, which is poised to undergo a restoration and redevelopment with the addition of two 28-story towers.

Plans for 6200 Sunset now head to the Planning and Land Use Management Committee.

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