Two Inglewood apartments sold this month to an investor planning to renovate the units and lift rents as part of a plan to capitalize on the city’s appeal to residents priced out of neighboring Westside markets.

Universe Holdings based in Century City purchased the buildings as part of a $16.7 million portfolio sale through a court-appointed receiver that included a site in Hawthorne. The company is currently bidding on three more properties in Inglewood, aiming for a bigger presence in the city that has drawn national attention as home to a forthcoming football stadium at the 300-acre, mixed-use Hollywood Park development.

“We’re long on Inglewood,” said Henry Manoucheri, Universe’s chief executive. “We like the challenge of adding value, we like improving communities, we like doing extreme makeovers, and we’re not afraid of challenges.”

The company began its Inglewood expansion two years ago after establishing a multifamily presence in other markets across Southern California. Universe now holds 155 units in six properties in Inglewood and the South Bay, and plans to spend between $20,000 to $35,000 a unit in renovations.

Although plans for Hollywood Park have helped make Inglewood look especially attractive, Manoucheri said the city’s central location close to job hubs in West L.A. and downtown was already a selling point.

“It just got better and better,” Manoucheri said.