June 13, 2006

THE MISSION WESTWOOD - new apartment building in Los Angeles

The Mission Westwood Apartments
1350 S. Midvale Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Looks like The Mission Westwood apartments are ready for rent. This new building is located a couple blocks south of Wilshire Blvd and a block west of Westwood Blvd. As far as big-block apartment buildings go, it looks like they did a pretty nice job. Westwood is of course a great location, but what I like specifically about this property is that it is a very short walk to Border's bookstore, the Equinox gym, and Novel Cafe. For more rental ideas, be sure to check out Los Angeles Apartments.

Los Angeles on the Net - www.ultimateLA.com

Posted by ultimatela at 12:04 AM | Comments (0)

May 23, 2006

Coming soon, a new Century City Mall with condos?

Artist Rendering of The New Century City Plan

I came across an interesting website today, www.thenewcenturyplan.com. This site outlines the proposal of Westfield (the owners of the Century City Mall in Los Angeles) to renovate the property. Here are the major elements of the plan from their website:

*Remove two aging office buildings at 1801 Avenue of the Stars and 1930 Century Park West and integrate those properties into the New Century, creating a unique combination of state-of-the-art new retail and parking together with a new mixed use condominium tower on Avenue of the Stars
*Increase new shopping and dining options by approximately 40% to 50% and create more parking and amenities throughout the center
*Reduce current office space by approximately two-thirds
*Add 260 luxury condominiums to provide a new choice for Angelenos to live and play where they work

It looks to me like the "sales pitch" for this project is still in the very early stages. It will be interesting to watch. To learn a little more about the history of Century City, here is some background from Wikipedia.

We have added the link to this proposed Century City Mall redevelopment to Los Angeles Real Estate.

Los Angeles on the Net - www.ultimateLA.com

Posted by ultimatela at 10:33 PM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2006

The Hollywood condos

The Hollywood

An ad for The Hollywood condos "Modern design in the heart of hollywood" caught my eye in today's Los Angeles Times real estate section. This real estate project is currently in its construction phase (estimated to be completed at the end of 2006), and we have added it to our Los Angeles Real Estate page. I think this project is interesting for a few reasons; a focus on modern architecture, the fact that it is all two and three bedroom units, and a sales pitch that targets the strategic location and transportation options for someone in the entertainment industry. This will be an interesting real estate project to watch, and their website says that this is the first such development to take place in Hollywood in decades.

Los Angeles Real Estate
Los Angeles on the Net - www.ultimateLA.com

Posted by ultimatela at 03:14 PM | Comments (0)

April 01, 2006

Downtown Los Angeles loft/condo listings added to ultimateLA.com

One result of this housing boom has been the investment of big money into Downtown Los Angeles for the both new construction and the re-hab of historic properties into condos/lofts. One nice thing about a real estate mania (versus a dot com mania), is at least at the end of real estate run, society is left with a new supply of housing stock. Yes, sometimes developers or those who bought in at the top go bust, but the property is always recycled into stronger financial hands through the mechanism of the free market. So whether real estate continues its upwards ascent, or if the "bubble" pops, a Downtown Los Angeles with alot more residential living options is certainly the result. Take a look at Los Angeles Real Estate, where we have added many Downtown L.A. condo/loft projects to our website. The cumulative level of investment into the city is really impressive. Here are some of the properties:

Artisan on Second - New mid-rise condo complex near the Little Tokyo section of Downtown Los Angeles
Axis at Union Station - new condo units next to near Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles
The Brockman - condo/loft conversion of a 1917-built Downtown Los Angeles building.
Eastern Columbia Lofts - loft conversion project of the turquoise art-deco 1930s high-rise on Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles
Eleven South - condo project in Downtown L.A.
Evo - new construction, luxury 23-story condo high rise in Downtown Los Angeles
Flower Street Lofts - lofts for sales adj. to Staples Center in Downtown L.A. This is a re-use project of the old UPS building, originally constructed in 1936.
Grand Lofts - Downtown L.A. loft project in the old Western Auto Supply Headquarters building (built 1924).
Library Court - new condo/lofts in heart of Downtown Los Angeles
Little Tokyo Lofts - Downtown Los Angeles lofts built in the industrial space of the old Westinghouse building
Market Lofts - condo/lofts being built above a new Ralphs grocery store in Downtown Los Angeles
Mercury Rising - condo conversion of the 1960s built Getty Oil Building at Wilshire & Western
Pan American Lofts - Downtown Los Angeles condo/loft conversion of a architecturally significant Beaux-Arts style property dating from 1895. I think the windows on this building are really interesting.
Rowan Lofts - conversion of a Downtown Los Angeles 1912-built office building into Lofts
Savoy - new luxury condos and lofts, encompassing an entire block in Downtown Los Angeles
Sky Lofts - The 12th-22nd floors of this office tower in Downtown L.A. are being converted to lofts. This will give this building a mix of retail (bottom floor), residential, and office users.
Tara Village - condominiums for sale in Tarzana
Toy Factory Lofts - Downtown L.A. Lofts
1100 Wilshire - high profile office-to-condo conversion on the western end of Downtown Los Angeles

Take a look at Los Angeles Real Estate for the links to the properties.

Los Angeles on the Net - www.ultimateLA.com

Posted by ultimatela at 03:39 PM | Comments (0)

October 02, 2005

Two interesting new real estate projects in Mid-Wilshire

There are a couple of new real estate projects under construction in the Mid-Wilshire section of Los Angeles that deserve mention. The first is the Perino's Apartments project, located on Wilshire Boulevard, just east of Crenshaw (next door to the historic Los Altos Apartments). This building is going up on the site of the old Perino's Restaurant. There will be 47 apartment units, as well as commercial space for rent. The neon signage will be preserved, as well as some chandeliers and other architectural features. All in all, it's an attractive looking project that cleverly retains some of the spirit of what came before it. Situated next to the Los Altos, this will make for a nice block of apartments. For more information on Los Angeles apartments, take a look at Apartments for rent in Los Angeles.

Also of note in the Mid-Wilshire area is the new Mercury condo project, which is an office-building to condos conversion. Located at 3800 Wilshire Blvd (the southwest corner of Wilshire and Western), this 22-story early 1960s built hi-rise was the former headquarters of the Getty Oil company. Over 200 condo units are expected to come online. The game plan appears to be similar to the project at 1100 Wilshire, with upscale amenities in the units and a rooftop pool and barbeque area in the offering. The new residences will have terrific views.

Posted by ultimatela at 07:27 PM | Comments (1)

July 16, 2005

Club California in Westwood is going condo

More Los Angeles condo-conversion news. Any UCLA alums from the past twenty years would probably recognize the name Club California Apartments, or "Club Cali" as it was more frequently called. This is the apartment complex on Roebling Avenue, right on the cusp of the commercial/retail/restaurant section in Westwood. Well, Club Cali is going condo. The renters (primarily students) have been given their walking papers, and as current leases expire the construction will begin on the individual units. Quick stats: the complex was built in 1973 and has 209 units. Here is some detail on the financing for the project from multihousingnews.com:

Hypo Completes $81M for Condo Acquisition, Conversion

Los Angeles—Hypo Real Estate Capital Corp., the New York-based subsidiary of Hypo Real Estate Bank International, closed on an $80.9 million loan to Westwood Commons LLC for its acquisition and condominium conversion of Club California, a 209-unit apartment development located in this city's Westwood section.

Westwood Commons is a joint venture between Dan Furlan's Construction Rehabilitation Services Inc. and Maisel Presley Inc. Over the past 10 years, each of these two entities, according to Hypo, has built a strong track record in the condo conversion industry.

Built in 1973, the three-story apartment building offers studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom layouts and an average unit size of 703 square feet. Onsite amenities include an outdoor pool, BBQ area, exercise room, game room and parking garage. The complex is a short walk from UCLA and the heart of Westwood.

"Hypo Real Estate Capital Corp. plans on continuing to expand its leadership position in the condominium-conversion marketplace in California and across the U. S.," said Evan F. Denner, head of real estate finance for Hypo Real Estate Capital.

You can read more about the conversion and its affect on UCLA students at this article from The Daily Bruin, Roebling complex sends off tenants. I think this will be an interesting project to watch. Westwood has been searching for its identity for over a decade now. Does it want to be a real "college town," or does it cater to an older crowd with high-disposable incomes? (The Palomino restaurant, Napa Valley Wine Bar, EuroChow, etc). The Club Cali condo conversion will infuse more disposable income into the area, but the price will be the losing a little of that college feel. If any Bruin Alumni are out there, I'd be curious to see your comment on this project, and if you would consider buying a condo there when they become available.

Los Angeles Apartments
Los Angeles on the Net - www.ultimateLA.com

Posted by ultimatela at 02:35 PM | Comments (3)

July 09, 2005

Los Angeles condo conversions, be careful out there

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled onto an open house for an apartment building to condo conversion project in West Los Angeles. Here are the datapoints that I came away with: One bedroom/one bath units with approximately 950 sq. ft are going for the mid $500,000s. Two bedroom/two bath units with 1,400 square feet are going for low $700,000s. So we are talking $500+ per square foot, and don't forget a couple hundred a month on HOA fees. This was an early 1970s building. Certainly not a special property, no great views, no nice common areas to speak of. They were doing their best to add nice wood flooring and stainless steel appliances, but still, $500+ a square foot? Generic neighborhood, south of Santa Monica Blvd and east of Bundy. You could expect to find a decent one bedroom apartment in the area for $1,100-1,200/month. The broker commented that the property was originally built to be condos in the the 1970s, but the market went south at the time and the property ended up being apartments until now. Interesting way to lead a sales pitch I thought, as what exactly prevents the market from going south on condos again?

Prospective buyers should think twice before jumping into a deal like this. The fact that real estate is being fueled by creative financing (interest-only loans, etc) has been documented extensively in the media, so I won't belabor this point (just do a google search). What is not discussed enough in my opinion is the nature of condos, and how they could be particularly subject to a price correction. The argument given by the real estate bulls is that the supply of real estate is limited, and in SoCal especially we are built-out and "they aren't making any more of it" (meaning land). While this could be true for single family homes, it is not true for condos. The potential supply of new condos that could come on the market is limitless. Take a drive around town. Whenever you see an older single family home or aging duplex with just a little extra land, you are looking at a potential tear-town project with 10+ new condo units coming on the market. So if you are buying one of these new condos or condo conversions, make sure that you want to live there for awhile and that the property is special in some respect. That is the best way to preserve equity in a condo market that is historically fickle. And if you decide to rent instead of buy, take a look at our Los Angeles Apartments page for rental ideas.

Los Angeles on the Net - www.ultimateLA.com

Posted by ultimatela at 09:07 PM | Comments (1)

June 28, 2005

New Apartment Listing - Reserve Lofts

When I worked in Downtown Los Angeles in the late 1990's, I would periodically find myself craining my neck at the old Federal Reserve Building on Olympic as I drove by. It has a type of "classic moderne" architecture that I find interesting. Now, like most buildings of significance in Downtown L.A., the Federal Reserve Building is being converted into apartment lofts, with a scheduled opening of Summer 2005. We have added Reserve Lofts to our apartment listings at Los Angeles Apartment Rentals. Enjoy!

Los Angeles on the Net - www.ultimateLA.com

Posted by ultimatela at 09:08 PM | Comments (1)

February 28, 2005

Los Angeles office hi-rise from tonight's "24" episode is a current condo conversion project - 1100 Wilshire

Viewers of the hit FOX TV show "24" will see a downtown hi-rise featured prominently in tonight's episode. What they may not know is that this building has a little bit of history behind it. Located at Wilshire & Bixel just west of the 110 Freeway on the edge of Downtown Los Angeles, this building has sat EMPTY since the at least the mid-1990s. Local real estate lore has it that the building was an ill-conceived late-inning product of the previous real estate run-up fueled by Japanese real estate investors in the late 1980's. This building was designed with feng shui and other sensibilities in mind, but when it came time to lease the property, prospective tenants did not like the fact that each floor had limited square footage (it is a very thin tower), and in addition parking often required looping up floor after floor until reaching an open or assigned spot. So now, after sitting empty and making a guest appearance on the hottest show on television, what is in store for our subject property? It's the Downtown Los Angeles condo/loft conversion gold rush to the rescue. Like so many other buildings downtown, 1100 Wilshire is now being converted into condos, 230 of them according to the website 1100 Wilshirela.com. (See this website and others at Los Angeles Apartment Rentals) This actually seems like a good plan to me, and the views should be amazing. And after all, it's nice to see the latest real estate boom (bubble?) adopt the unwanted step-child of the late 1980s real estate bust.

Los Angeles Apartment Rentals - www.ultimateLA.com

Posted by ultimatela at 11:22 PM | Comments (2)