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.
FROM LA TIMES | With 35 stories and a block-long video display, the Circa complex gives DTLA a Times Square vibe
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.
LOS ANGELES -- Xenon Investments, a local multifamily operator, has purchased Las Palmas Villa Apartments, located at 2039 N. Las Palmas Ave. and 2026 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood. Berk Investments sold the property for $28 million.
The 67,700-square-foot asset features a mix of studio/junior one-bedroom, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, controlled access, a swimming pool with sundeck, courtyard with fountain, parking, laundry facilities on each floor and elevator access to all levels. Unit amenities include spacious floorplans and air conditioning, with many units featuring a balcony or patio.
The buyer plans to upgrade all common areas, including the building façade, and completely renovate all unit interiors with state-of-the-art amenities and conveniences.
Dean Zander, Stewart Weston and John Montakab of CBRE represented the seller in the deal.
Just as concepts of wellness have infiltrated travel, food and fitness, they're now reaching into residential real estate.
In a so-called wellness community, a diverse, multigenerational population of mixed-income residents are encouraged to interact in beautified and walkable public and commercial spaces.
The multifamily compounds are designed to promote physical activity, interaction with nature and connection with the community beyond the property line. You might help tend a community garden or attend regularly scheduled concerts in an outdoor amphitheater.
Ideas about designing for wellness are changing how residential developments are built, incorporating features more common to spa resorts or high-end gyms.
"Developers are spending more time and space on rooftop gardens and common grilling areas, decks and distinct fitness areas," said Dean Zander, a CBRE executive vice president who specializes in apartments. He has noticed dedicated rooms for yoga, kickboxing, dog washing or bicycle repair popping up in new and remodeled apartments as builders aim "to bring tenants what they want, which is a healthy environment and a shared sense of community."
From DTLA to Marina Del Rey, Los Angeles has a micro-market for every demographic, and it is a big draw for institutional investors.
BY KELSI MAREE BORLAND
Los Angeles is rapidly growing, but it is also evolving into a city unlike any other. While every city is segmented by neighborhoods, Los Angeles sprawl is giving way to a series of micro markets across the city that serve specific target demographics. As a result, institutional investors—a capital source that has started to target Los Angeles in recent years—is looking for opportunities in these markets.
“I think that what is different, especially being a native Angeleno, is that L.A. has developed into micro markets,” Dean Zander, EVP at CBRE, tells GlobeSt.com when asked how Los Angeles has evolved over the years. “Locally, there are all of these micro markets within L.A. that are getting a lot of attention and a lot of funding to grow. They are getting their own individuality.”
While markets like Downtown Los Angeles, which is undergoing a dramatic renaissance, get a lot of headlines, Zander points to several L.A. markets that are growing and getting investor attention. “Downtown Los Angeles continues to grow and expand, and it is now attracting world class restaurants, hotels and retailers. At the same time, other markets are also growing,” he says. “We are seeing the Warner Center Specific plan being unveiled with thousands of units, hotels and office towers. NoHo has come into its own and has become very edgy and urban, and it is an exciting place to live. Then the Marina del Rey and Playa del Rey area have been completely redeveloped.”
These markets all have their own character and unique atmosphere, but they also attract attention from specific renter demographics, like millennials and baby boomers. “The target renter demographic are attracted to these different areas for a variety of reasons, and I think that there is continued growth that we are going to enjoy,” adds Zander.
These demographic groups are growing, and helping to fuel growth in these markets and extending the runway for the Los Angeles market in general. “Between the home affordability index and the millennial and senior populations growing, I think that we have a very strong runway ahead of us for continued growth,” Zander explains. “It has been a long cycle, and history tells us that we are in a cyclical business, I don’t think that we are nearing the end or late in the game.”
San Diego-based Logan Capital Advisors acquired a two-property apartment portfolio for $33 million in Colton, CA from Los Angeles-based TruAmerica. The assets include Reche Ridge, a 110-unit apartment complex, and 1333 Canyon, a 104-unit apartment home property. The buildings are located at 2270 Cahuilla St. and 1333 Reche Canyon.
Berkadia’s Jim Fisher and Mike Smith, along with Dean Zander, who subsequently joined CBRE from Berkadia, represented the seller. CBRE also arranged the interest-only debt for the buyer as part of a 1031-exchange.
Zander says, “The increasing demand for housing and manufacturing in this area make multifamily a wise investment. The Inland Empire has really benefitted from the influx of people and jobs driven by all the industrial and e-commerce growth, and is generally considered an affordable alternative to many other Southern California regions.”
Dean Zander, CBRE’s new multifamily institutional sales expert, says that activity from institutional capital, both foreign and local, is strong in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles is fast becoming a favorite market for institutional multifamily buyers. Capital from local, domestic and foreign buyers is attracted to Southern California for both direct acquisitions and local partnerships. With many experts predicting an extended runway, Dean Zander, executive VP of CBRE capital markets and an expert on multifamily institutional sales, says that the activity is poised to grow over the next year.
“I think the activity is going to accelerate. There are institutional caliber assets and institutional caliber clients, and I think that the capital that is being attracted to Southern California, particularly to L.A. and the surrounding counties, is looking for a safe harbor. L.A. is viewed as a safe place for investment, particularly in the coastal regions. We are seeing a strong flow of capital coming into the Los Angeles market, predominately from local and Southern California-based buyers, and then from West Coast-based buyers, then we track throughout the country,” Zander tells GlobeSt.com. “Then, we are seeing enhanced interest from foreign buyers as well, weather that is Chinese, German, Canadian. The CB brand is perfectly suited to attract that capital.”
In recent years, major developments and investments from Asian investors, mostly from China and Korea, have made headlines. While there is a lot of capital from Asia, Zander says that Germany, Canada and Latin American countries are also major players in the market. “I think it has been more Asian dominated in the press,” says Zander. “That has gotten more attention, especially with some of the specific development sites in Downtown Los Angeles, but the Canadians have actually been much more active, but maybe not as news worthy because they are so local.”
This capital is chasing institutional-quality assets, but L.A. is known for its family ownership. Where there are no institutional-quality assets available, this capital is creating local partnerships. “We are absolutely seeing institutional-backed sponsors entering suburban markets with the idea of doing a deep value-add program to a B or even a C class asset,” adds Zander. “The institutions will typically find a local sponsor that has experience rolling up their sleeves and spending $25,000 to $40,000 per unit to renovate this product.”
IEC, a Bay Area-based discretionary fund manager, has purchased Warner Center Townhomes, a 27-unit res property in the western San Fernando Valley community of Woodland Hills, for $11.5 mil ($426k/unit). Built in 2005, the property is located at 6737 De Soto Ave, within the upscale Warner Center submarket.
The seller, an entity associated with Pacific Crest Realty, purchased the property several years earlier for $9.8 mil and had cosmetically enhanced all common areas.
“When we purchased the building, The Village at Westfield Topanga was still in the planning stages and now with its enormous success, it is reinforcing Warner Center’s position as the new Downtown of the San Fernando Valley,” commented Dan Tenenbaum, President of Pacific Crest. “The marketing effort attracted the attention of over 100 capital sources from active investors including private individuals, sponsored equity groups, and value-add experts.”
Dean Zander with CBRE represented both parties in the transaction.
“This closing is further proof of demand in the “value-add” space for well-located urban infill properties,” noted Zander. “Warner Center has experienced substantial growth and development highlighted by The Village at Westfield Topanga as well as continued expansion with developments including the Promenade 2035 and Uptown at Warner Center, located just west of the property.”
Warner Center contains over 6 msf of Class A office space. The submarket supports over 200,000 jobs. Major employers include Sun America, Unitrin County Mutual Insurance, Farmers Insurance, Blue Cross, Life Care Assurance, Morgan Stanley/Smith Barney Health Net, Intuit, United Online, Viking River Cruises, Universal Music Group, and Wells Fargo.
The institutional multifamily sales expert joins CBRE with a stated goal of tripling his market share in 24 months, GlobeSt.com reports EXCLUSIVELY.
BY KELSI BORLAND
CBRE has officially tapped Dean Zander, an institutional multifamily sales expert and industry veteran, as an EVP in the firm’s Capital Markets Group. Zander joins the firm from Berkadia, where he spent 18 years, and will focus on expanding the CBRE’s institutional multifamily investment sales presence in the Southern California markets.
“I started looking around at the landscape and tracking the flow of capital from Main Street to Wall Street and looking at where the appetite was for investing for multifamily,” Zander tells GlobeSt.com about why CBRE was a good fit for him. “Multifamily has been the favored food group for the last decade, and I think that is going to continue to grow. I wanted to be at a platform where I could take advantage of that, and have access to the relationships that a company like CBRE offers. For that reason, it was very attractive to me.”
The multifamily investment sales market has grown tremendously in Los Angeles, and capital from institutional buyers has been flooding into the market. Zander thinks that this is a great time for CBRE to grow its market share here, and he is up to the task. “CBRE is deeply involved in the institutional business on a national basis and in Southern California. In Los Angeles, as a standalone region, they don’t quite have the market share that I thought that they could,” he adds. “I think it is the perfect blend of where my career has taken me and where CBRE has given me a rare opportunity to bring my experience and expertise to a shop with a terrific footprint.”
While he wouldn’t comment on his exact goals, Zander expects to triple his market share in his first 24 months at CBRE. He is also looking to build a team. “My plan is to triple my market share inside of 24 months,” he says. “I am in the process of completing the build out of my team to complement the resources that are being offered from CBRE.”
At Berkadia, Zander was a senior managing director and a top five producer, responsible for some headline stealing deals, including, most recently, Monterey Station for $84.5 million, Eaves Tustin for $163.6 million, and Amerige Pointe for $115.0 million. In total, he has completed more than $5 billion in multifamily sales throughout Southern California during his career.
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