High-rise living, once a rarity in Southern California, is gaining new favor as reviving urban centers such as downtown L.A. and Hollywood attract thousands of new residents in search of neighborhoods with a big-city feel.
Los Angeles has especially encouraged dense development near transit hubs like train stations, which has led developers to build skyward to increase the number of residences they have for sale or rent.
Such towers are expensive to build, so they have to be luxurious enough to attract well-heeled residents, real estate broker Dean Zander of CBRE said. Occupants may be empty-nesters, wealthy people in search of a pied a terre or working millennials with roommates.
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Downtown’s apartment market is in a peak frenzy of development, with more than 6,000 units expected to open there this year, said apartment sales broker Dean Zander of CBRE.
He expects that number to fall dramatically in 2019 and 2020 as rising construction costs and new city regulations intended to help pay for affordable housing drive up the price of apartment development.
Demand for new downtown apartments has proved strong, Zander said.
Abacus Capital buys West Covina apartment complex for $34M
There's high demand for investment in the area with high barrier to entry
By Gregory Cornfield
In a sign of mounting demand for investment in the area, a New York-based firm bought an apartment complex in West Covina this week.
An affiliate for New York-based Abacus Capital Group, LLC, bought the Atrium Apartments at 1829 E. Workman Ave. for $33.9 million, CBRE said. It was the firm’s first purchase in Southern California.
San Diego-based MG Properties Group was the seller.
The 138-unit property in the San Gabriel Valley features two- and three-bedroom apartments, which each have an average of more than 1,000 square feet. The property includes three swimming pools and a fitness center. It has averaged less than 4-percent vacancy since 2016.
The West Covina area has been a “submarket with extremely high barrier to entry,” said Dean Zander with CBRE, who represented MG Properties Group. Earlier this year, CBRE also represented a partnership associated with Landmark Properties in the purchase of another West Covina multi-family complex for $18.8 million.
In August, StarPoint Properties sold an apartment complex in West Covina for $74 million. And in March, Goldrich & Kest Industries bought a 182-unit complex at 1234 W. Cameron Ave. for $44.8 million.
A lack of supply and the strong demand have buoyed rents and kept occupancies high, according to CBRE research. Only one conventional market-rate property, with 450 units, has been built in the West Covina/Covina submarket since 1990. No new projects are planned.
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