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Nationwide overbuilding is causing rents in even the hottest markets to plummet, freeze


Nationwide overbuilding is causing rents in even the hottest markets to plummet, freeze Minuscule 0.5 percent gain in U.S. rents over July was the smallest increase since 2012 (Credit from left: Henk Monster, Wikimedia Foundation) Timing is everything. It’s a great time to be renting in America as a glut of new supply is causing rents across the country to take a nosedive. Meanwhile, the lag time between the planning and delivery of rental projects is hurting developers and landlords who are now feeling the crunch. But the signs were there for the past few years, as Zillow’s senior economist Aaron Terrazas explained to Bloomberg. “This is something that we first started to see two years ago in New York and D.C.,” he said. “A year ago, it was San Francisco and most recently, Seattle and Portland. It’s spreading through what once were the fastest growing rental markets.” Best case,...
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Madison Square Garden Co. accuses Inglewood mayor of “outrageous, fraudulent conduct”


Madison Square Garden Co. accuses Inglewood mayor of “outrageous, fraudulent conduct” The owner of The Forum is suing and holding the mayor personally liable for damages (Credit from left: Ritapepaj/Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia Commons) The former home of the Lakers is taking issue with the Clippers trying to move in nearby. The owner of The Forum, Madison Square Garden Co., is accusing the city of Inglewood and mayor, James T. Butts Jr., of fraudulent behavior saying he convinced them to forgo buying a $6.9 million, 15-acre tract of land that executives later learned he was in talks to sell to the Clippers for a new stadium, according to the Daily Breeze. MSG said it didn’t pursue buying the land because company representatives believed the mayor was developing a technology park. The Forum’s termination agreement with the city specified that whatever development did go forward on the site, it would not be...
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Meet the developers building the country’s wildest spec homes



Meet the developers building the country’s wildest spec homes “It’s a crazy business; you don’t do it unless you’re a little nuts." The “Billionaire” spec house in Bel Air and Bruce Makowsky (Credit: Makowsky via LA Times, Getty) Are you prepared to bet tens of millions of dollars on building outrageously lavish spec homes that you hope to sell for nine-figure sums? If the answer is yes, you’re part of a small and extremely quirky club. Despite murmurs of a slowdown at the top of the luxury market, a handful of Los Angeles developers are creating playgrounds for the ultra-wealthy with price tags of high as $500 million. It’s an extremely risky proposition – these builders risk being stuck with gilded, one-off properties that they’ve sunk substantial money into. The personalities and stories of these spec builders tend to be as colorful as the homes themselves. “It’s a crazy business,”...
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This week in celeb real estate: An $88M home comes to market, a plot with Hollywood history is for sale.. & more


This week in celeb real estate: An $88M home comes to market, a plot with Hollywood history is for sale.. & more Michael Palumbo, Gary L. Wilson and the guest house of 320 Delfern Drive (Credit: iStock, Pixabay) Sell, sell, sell. At least that’s what celebrities in Los Angeles are hoping for this week. Four lavish homes came on the market, ranging from new construction specs to residences rich in Hollywood history. The most expensive listing this week can be spotted in Bel Air, where a luxury spec home is under construction. Elite Investment Management is building the 19,000-square-foot mansion , listed at $88 million. Once completed, it will include a 1,700-gallon fish tank, wine and cigar lounge, 18-seat movie theater and even a waterfall. Architect Michael Palumbo designed the three-story house. Another yet-to-be-completed property hit the market nearby. A parcel of land adjacent to one of Holmby Hills’ grand...
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‘House of Sin’ party pad lists for $8.5M





‘House of Sin’ party pad lists for $8.5M Photog Richard Franklin shot celebs and 600 models there “House of Sin” (Jerrod Jones) A Hollywood Hills home designed with a playboy bachelor’s dreams in mind hit the market this week for $8.5 million. Nicknamed the “House of Sin,” the eight-story home on Sunset Plaza Drive, near the Bird Streets , is known for its eclectic and alluring decor.   The owner, photographer Richard Franklin, frequently worked on photoshoots at the home with celebrity clientele, such as Kim Kardashian, and more than 600 models, according to a spokesperson for Franklin.     Designed to accommodate an over-the-top party lifestyle, it features a rooftop pool and hot tub, an indoor spa, a dancing studio, a casino, and a black-light disco nightclub. The 5,332 square-foot house has five bedrooms and six bathrooms. The home was built in 1990. Franklin purchased it five years later...
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City Council signs off on one-year pilot program for e-scooters


City Council signs off on one-year pilot program for e-scooters The decision follows new rules set by Santa Monica officials City Hall and Bird scooters (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) The Los Angeles City Council approved a pilot program for dockless scooters, further establishing the presence of startups like Bird and Lime in Southern California. The new set of regulations, which the council approved on Tuesday, will allow each company to launch 3,000 electric scooters and bikes, the Los Angeles Business Journal reported. They’ll also have the opportunity to launch another 2,500 in low-income neighborhoods, and up to 5,000 more in pockets of the San Fernando Valley. That amounts to a maximum of 10,500 vehicles per company, a drastic upgrade from when the City Council was considering a proposed citywide ban last month. While the final policies are being finalized, council members will have the flexibility to further regulate the companies. For...
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Mesirow Financial closes latest real estate fund at $567M


Mesirow Financial closes latest real estate fund at $567M The funding will help support investment for multifamily properties and student housing Mesirow Financial CEO Dominick Mondi and generic multifamily homes (Credit: Mesirow Financial and iStock) Mesirow Financial closed its Real Estate Value Fund III at $567 million, attracting commitments from institutional investors across the U.S., Europe and Australia. The fund is managed by Mesirow Financial’s Real Estate — Direct team, which focuses on the multifamily and student housing sectors in the United States, according to RE Journals. The closing follows two previous funding rounds that allowed the firm to acquire more than $1.6 billion in assets. The real estate investment team for Chicago-based Mesirow has raised $1.5 billion in equity over the past five years and has invested in nearly 13,000 multifamily units in 23 cities nationwide. Private real estate investment funds closed out the second quarter with the lowest...
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Video game publisher Nexon inks lease in El Segundo


Video game publisher Nexon inks lease in El Segundo Company is moving from Starwood's PCT to standalone creative office A rendering of the 621 Hawaii Street property (Source: Montana Avenue Capital Partners Video game publisher Nexon America is leaving Starwood’s PCT complex for a standalone office less than two miles away. The company signed a nine-year, 49,000-square-foot lease at 621 Hawaii Street, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal. The property includes a backyard, patios, video streaming rooms, video editing suites, and a 15,000-square-foot gaming area. The new office will be the company’s headquarters. It’s unclear how much square footage the company leased at PCT. The company laid off an undisclosed number of employees in February — up to a fifth of its workforce — according to sources cited by gamesindustry.biz. Nexon’s new landlord is Montana Avenue Capital Partners, a Santa Monica-based firm. Montana renovated the 53-year-old building as a...
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Tencent, Warburg Pincus are betting big on China’s housing market


Tencent, Warburg Pincus are betting big on China’s housing market The companies are investing $1.5B in a brokerage firm Tencent CEO Ma Huateng and the Beijing skyline (Credit: Getty Images and Francisco Anzola via Flickr) Chinese internet giant Tencent is betting $1 billion on one of the country’s largest brokerages. Beijing-based Lianjia is planning to raise about $2 billion from investors including Tencent and private equity firm Warburg Pincus, the Wall Street Journal reported. The fundraising round would value the company at roughly $13 billion. Warburg Pincus is investing $500 million, the report said. Sign up for China Watch for weekly emails on Chinese real estate investments. Lianjia, whose formal name is Homelink Real Estate Agency Co., has a website for sale and rental listings and also offers services including home decor and property management. It operates 8,000 retail outlets with brokerage services in 28 Chinese cities, and has close...
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A market grows for entitled LA properties


330 N. Patton Street and Keller Williams Realty agent Shawn Kormondy (Credit: iStock) Go on, take the money and run. That was the temptation facing Thomas Agius, owner of a development property in Echo Park, after a two-year ordeal entitling it for a 32-unit multifamily development. A few years earlier, the developer had high hopes for the 11,200-square-foot piece of land. He planned to develop the apartment building on the site at N. Patton Street, with a mix of units that would each have their own balcony. But the grueling process to entitle the property took its toll. Agius is one of a number of developers in Los Angeles who are struggling with a sort of post-entitlement hangover that leaves them with little appetite to break ground. Thanks to a strong market for entitled properties, they have a way out — sell their shovel-ready, recently entitled sites to builders at...
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LA tenant group joins statewide push to repeal rent control restrictions


LA tenant group joins statewide push to repeal rent control restrictions Activists say the number of rent-stabilized units in the city continues to shrink Residential buildings in downtown Los Angeles before 1978 (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) There are now 600,000 rent-stabilized units in Los Angeles, yet the city has still been called the least affordable of any in the country. Now, a group of tenant organizations are joining a statewide effort to repeal a California law that restricts the number of rent-controlled properties. They want to get rid of the Costa-Hawkins Act, a 1995 law that put limits on future local rent control laws and put a freeze on existing local laws. The tenant groups are trying to do their part to collect the roughly 400,000 signatures needed to force the ballot initiative amid a deepening affordability crisis in the city and across California. Curbed first reported on their effort to...
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Harbor Associates lands 2 suburban office buildings for $56M


Harbor Associates lands 2 suburban office buildings for $56M The firm partnered separately with Goldman Sachs, Blue Vista Capital Management Commons at Valencia Gateway, Conejo Corporate In separate joint ventures, Harbor Associates, a Long Beach-based investment firm, paid a combined $56 million for two suburban office buildings in Valencia and Thousand Oaks. Both properties will be renovated. In Valencia, Harbor teamed with Goldman Sachs Asset Management Private Real Estate. The pair paid Barings $33.1 million for a two-building, 156,630-square-foot office campus. Called Commons at Valencia Gateway, it is located at 25124 – 25125 Springfield Court. The complex is 81 percent leased to 15 tenants, including anchor tenant KB Studio. Tom Bohlinger, Ryan Smith and Justin Hager of JLL represented Barings in the transaction. In Thousand Oaks, Harbor teamed up with Blue Vista Capital Management to acquire the Conejo Corporate Campus at 2380 and 2400 Conejo Spectrum Street. The joint venture...
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Plans for 77-unit apartment in Venice add to developing neighborhood


Plans for 77-unit apartment in Venice add to developing neighborhood The mixed-use project would rise near planned 56-unit building February 19, 2018 09:00AM 2454 Lincoln Boulevard (Credit: Google Maps) A developer has filed plans for a 77-unit residential development in Venice in a neighborhood that has seen a recent rise in apartment construction. The proposed mixed-use building at Lincoln Boulevard and Venice Boulevard would replace a car wash, commercial building, and parking lot. It would rise just around the around the corner from a 56-unit project whose plans were filed last year. For the most recent proposal, the owner of the property at 2452-2454 Lincoln Boulevard filed plans Friday, according to Urbanize. The area is characterized mostly by low-rise commercial and residential development, but these two projects could spark more vertical building. There would be 69 market-rate units and eight units set aside for affordable housing. The project does not...
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This week in celeb real estate: Adam Levine unloads estate for $18M, Harvey Weinstein lists a home for rent


Adam Levine and his home, Harvey Weinstein and his home (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) Maroon 5 frontman and “The Voice” judge Adam Levine sold his home in the Holmby Hills neighborhood for $18 million, the same price he paid for it last summer. The French Regency-style home spans 9,200 square feet and includes a two-story guesthouse, the Los Angeles Times reported. Five bedrooms, five-and-a-half bathrooms and a breakfast solarium can be found inside, while a swimming pool and pool house complete the outside. Levine listed the property for sale in November for $18.9 million. Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie producer accused of sexual assault by numerous women, is renting a West Hollywood home he owns for $7,500 per month. The renovated 1,400-square-foot pad includes two bedrooms, two bathrooms, library and backyard that comes equipped with fruit trees. A corporate entity tied to Weinstein purchased the place for $1.55 million in late...
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USC medical center dormitory planned for Boyle Heights campus


USC medical center dormitory planned for Boyle Heights campus American Campus Communities would develop the 95-unit dorm 1642 San Pablo St (Credit: Google Maps) The country’s largest dormitory developer has proposed a 95-unit dorm for the University of Southern California’s medical center in Boyle Heights. American Campus Communities filed plans for the 134,000-square-foot structure, which would include some leasing space and open outdoor space. It would serve the school’s graduate students. The plans include a handful of addresses at the corner of Valley Boulevard and San Pablo Street. If approved, the building will rise just south of Lincoln Park, near the USC Health Sciences campus. The land is owned by USC. American Campus purchased the ground lease in 2016 for $2 million. It consists of two parking lots and a parking structure, near the Currie Hall dorm. American Campus owns and manages Curry Hall and has a ground lease on...
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US housing starts were up 10% in January, led by multifamily building


US housing starts were up 10% in January, led by multifamily building The 46% increase in the Northeast was the highest in the country February 16, 2018 02:00PM (Credit: Pexels) Housing starts nationwide jumped 9.7 percent in January over December, thanks largely to a 19.7 percent increase in residential rental and condominium starts — the biggest increase since December 2016. The annual pace of starts nationwide last month was 1.33 million, up from 1.21 million in December and up from 1.24 million last January, according to the Department of Commerce. January’s increase followed December’s sharp drop of 8.2 percent to an annual rate of 1.19 million starts, the largest since November 2016. Single-family construction was up 3.7 percent nationwide. Construction was up in all corners of the country but the Midwest, where it dropped 10.2 percent. The Northeast was the strongest market, rising 45.5 percent. That’s an increase four times...
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Malibu and Beverly Hills dominate LA’s most expensive neighborhoods


Malibu and Beverly Hills dominate LA’s most expensive neighborhoods Malibu's Colony, where median sales price was $13 million, tops list December 20, 2017 09:31AM Edward Norton’s home The “Steven’s House” by John Lautner (Credit: The MLS, Wikimedia Commons) Surprise! Malibu and Beverly Hills were the most expensive places to buy in Los Angeles in 2017, according to a list of the 10 priciest areas based on median sales price. The most expensive neighborhood in LA this year was Malibu’s Colony — the gated beachfront road tightly packed with mansions and their celebrity owners — where the median sales price was $13 million, according to PropertyShark data culled by Curbed. That figure is even lower than the median sales price of $15.7 million recorded in the Colony in the first half of 2017. Prices have skyrocketed in the Colony in recent years. Actor Edward Norton bought the “Steven’s House” by John...
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Could Unibail’s Westfield deal pressure Simon Property Group to make a big buy?


Unibail Rodamco CEO Christophe Cuvillier and the Westfield mall at the World Trade Center Unibail-Rodamco’s $15.7 billion bid to buy Westfield Corp. has the market buzzing about whether or not Simon Property Group will pull out its checkbook and acquire one of its smaller REIT rivals. Unibail, Europe’s largest real estate investment trust, is creating a $70 billion retail behemoth with its acquisition of Westfield. That puts it squarely in the rearview mirror of Simon, which has a portfolio of real estate valued at $110 billion. And it comes at a time of consolidation in the mall REIT sector on both sides of the Atlantic. “Next on the list is Simon Property,” said Kai Klose, a stock analyst who covers Unibail for Berenberg Bank. “If they can make a move that makes sense and be more dominant, I would not be surprised if they would do something.” Simon already owns...
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New 240K sf office building slated for El Segundo


New 240K sf office building slated for El Segundo The site will include office, studio, production, and retail space December 19, 2017 04:30PM The site of the Beach Cities Media Campus in El Segundo (Credit: Google Earth) A vacant six-acre site on Rosecrans Avenue in El Segundo is slated for development as a mixed-use campus with about 240,000 square feet of new office space. The development, dubbed the Beach Cities Media Campus, includes a five-story, 240,000-square-foot office building, a 66,000-square-foot studio and production facility, and two single-story retail buildings. The site would also include parking for 1,100 vehicles and a pedestrian bridge to a neighboring property with an ArcLight Cinemas movie theater and restaurants, according to Urbanize LA, which cited an environmental report being prepared by the city. The site at 2021 Rosecrans Avenue was formerly an air separation plant run by Air Products, but it was demolished sometime after...
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Olive Hill buying Santa Monica office building for $117M: sources


Olive Hill buying Santa Monica office building for $117M: sources Tishman Speyer paid $92M for 520 Broadway in 2015 By Chava Gourarie | December 19, 2017 03:36PM 520 Broadway, Michael Cho and Rob Speyer The Downtown L.A.-based Olive Hill Group is in contract to buy a Santa Monica office building from Tishman Speyer for $117 million, The Real Deal has learned. The sale of the 113,000-square-foot, six-story property, located near the Santa Monica Freeway and Third Street Promenade, is expected to close later this week for about $1,035 a foot, sources familiar with the deal said. Tishman Speyer bought it for $91.6 million in 2015 from Vornado Realty Trust, which had bought it out of foreclosure. Michael Cho, president of Olive Hill Group, said the building is a rare acquisition opportunity in Santa Monica, which has strict limits on development. The building is 82 percent occupied, property records show, with...
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