By ELIZABETH HAYES
West Hollywood is poised to choose among four proposals to spruce up a 7 & #733;-acre parcel of land at the eastern edge of town, a gritty industrial area that once was rife with prostitutes.
Each of the proposals includes retail, housing, restaurants and cinemas.
"When you're talking about a project of this size and an area faced with high expectations from the community, it's going to be a real difficult decision," said West Hollywood Mayor Steve Martin.
The redevelopment site is at the southwest corner of La Brea Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, which currently has a car wash and some industrial buildings and about a million people living within a five-mile radius.
The city's planning advisory committee heard from the developers last week and the City Council will get a peek at the proposed projects Oct. 19, with a vote expected in December.
The competing developers are: Newport Beach-based Crown Realty in a joint venture with Costco, which are proposing a mixed big-box/street retail development; Regent Properties, which is proposing an entertainment-oriented development with shops, restaurants and movie theaters; a joint venture of Orange County-based Olson Co. and Hopkins Real Estate Group for a retail/housing development; and developer J.H. Snyder Co., which proposes a retail/movie theater development that would include one of Robert Redford's new Sundance theaters, with sound stages to be added at a later time.
Martin said the amount of tax revenue generated will be critical in selecting the winning proposal, because the point of redevelopment is to revitalize a blighted area. Jobs, quality of life and the project's visual impact also will be taken into account.
"Any of the four developments are going to be very popular and successful. It's which one will give us the most bang for the buck," Martin said.
TrizecHahn Corp. broke ground with great fanfare last week on its $385 million retail/entertainment complex at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, next to Mann's Chinese Theatre. The two-block, 640,000-square-foot retail and entertainment project is slated to open in fall 2000. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences plans to move its annual Oscars show in March 2001 to a 3,300-seat theater that will serve as the centerpiece of the project.
The TrizecHahn project is being spearheaded by David Malmuth, a former Walt Disney Co. executive who engineered the successful renovation of the New Amsterdam Theater that helped turn around New York's Times Square. Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg said at the groundbreaking that several other developers have come to her with proposals for other projects along Hollywood Boulevard.
Allstate sales hit L.A.
Five L.A.-area properties have changed ownership as a result of the sale by Allstate Corp. of its nationwide real estate portfolio.
Included in the portfolio are Allstate Plaza, a 412,106-square-foot development in Glendale; Burbank Airport Business Park, a 358,392-square-foot complex in North Hollywood; Chatsworth Business Park, with 317,407 square feet; and Gardena Business Park, with 117,326 square feet. Also included is a 173,000-square-foot facility in the Valencia Industrial Center.
Westbrook Partners LLC, a New York-based closely held investment fund, acquired 51 properties in the portfolio for $965 million. Allstate, which has liquidated its real estate holdings with the sale, retains a $150 million interest in the portfolio. The total portfolio includes more than 10 million square feet of space.
Westbrook officials did not return phone calls.
N. Hollywood industrial deal
Pacific West Management has acquired a 300,000-square-foot leased industrial building on Sherman Way in North Hollywood from Chicago-based Federated Industries Inc. for $13.2 million. The warehouse-distribution building is occupied by Southern Wine & Spirits, a national wine and liquor distributor.
Pacific West, which has offices in Encino and L.A., is headed by real estate entrepreneurs David Hager and Adam Milstein, who own and manage about 5 million square feet of industrial and commercial properties and about 3,000 apartment units through Southern California. They have acquired about a million square feet annually over the past five years and expect to continue at that pace.
David Young and Bill Napier of Capital Commercial/NAI represented Pacific West.
In other industrial news, Sares?Regis Group has acquired a 15-acre site at 2600 Imperial Highway in Lynwood to develop a 325,000-square-foot, $16 million distribution center. The seller was Zimmerman Holdings, which was represented by Jeff Morgan of CB Richard Ellis. Morgan and John Privett, also of CB, are representing Sares?Regis in the lease of the new facility.
Newhall Land & Farming Co. has sold 43.6 acres of land for industrial development in two separate transactions totaling $24.1 million. The largest piece, 36.5 acres, was sold to L.A.-based PacTen Partners. Newhall also closed escrow on seven acres it sold to Wilshire Real Estate Partnerships.
The PacTen parcel is at Interstate 5 and Highway 126 in the Valencia Commerce Center, the company's newest business park, where the other land is also located.
PacTen, which is currently building the 24-story Glendale Plaza, plans to break ground next month on an $85 million, 700,000-square-foot campus-style office development in four phases, called Valencia Corporate Point. In all, 2.8 million square feet of industrial space and a million of office space are under construction or soon to be.
Newhall has sold more than 79 acres of industrial land so far this year and an additional 36.8 acres are in escrow, which will far exceed the 70 acres that closed escrow last year. But Newhall still has a hefty inventory of industrial land in Valencia about 470 acres, which would support an additional 9.4 million square feet of buildings.
News & notes
Two Cerritos developments have recently been completed: A 50,000-square-foot, two-story office building in the Cerritos Towne Center constructed by Transpacific Development Co. at the southeast corner of Bloomfield Avenue and Towne Center Drive; and the Cerritos Cornerstone shopping center, just north of the Towne Center. The latter includes a Borders Books & Music, Hollywood Video, Gateway 2000 Country Store and AirTouch Cellular. Northern California-based Construction Laborers Union Pension Trust has acquired the 30,000-square-foot Northridge Medical Center office building for $4.75 million. The fully occupied two-story building is across from the Northridge Hospital Medical Center. Michael Dettling and Christopher Bonbright, with Ramsey-Shilling Co., represented seller Uniphy Investments, an L.A. partnership composed of 19 physicians. Dettling said purchase prices of medical office buildings are running about 10 percent higher than a year ago, but the market is beginning to stabilize. In other medical-related news, Charles Pankow Builders Ltd. is completing the construction of the new 156,000-square-foot Nor and Fran Berger Tower for the Methodist Hospital in Arcadia, allowing for patient occupancy this month. It's the first hospital built in the state that is in compliance with updated code requirements since the Northridge earthquake. And landscape architects Melendrez Babalas Associates, whose projects include the Los Angeles Civic Center Master Plan and the Staples Center, has moved from Highland Park to the historical Oviatt Building downtown.
Staff reporter Shelly Garcia contributed to this report.
Staff reporter Elizabeth Hayes can be reached at (323) 549-5225 ext. 229.
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