Senior Vice President, Investment Properties Division
CB Richard Ellis
Claim to Fame: Sale of Wilshire Estina at Wilshire and Beverly Glen boulevards
The properties handled by Laurie Lustig-Bower include some of the Westside's most fashionable and expensive apartment buildings and condominiums.
Her sales include the 18-story Wilshire Estina at Wilshire and Beverly Glen boulevards bought by real estate mogul Donald Sterling in 1995, now called Sterling International Tower. (It was listed at about $44.4 million when it was on the market, but she wouldn't disclose Sterling's purchase price.)
Lustig-Bower said it was an interesting property for a number of reasons, including the fact that "it was on the south side of Wilshire, which meant it had better views. You could see out your window from downtown all the way to Catalina."
The sale was among the $450 million in investment transactions she has handled since joining CB Richard Ellis in 1988.
Last year, she posted sales of $70 million, which earned her honors as the No. 1 broker in CB's Western division and the firm's No. 3 broker nationwide. One of her biggest transactions in 1998 was Sierra Canyon, a Santa Clarita apartment complex listed at $17 million that was sold to Equity Residential Trust, one of the nation's largest apartment REITs.
In addition, Lustig-Bower sold four buildings within three blocks of each other on the west side of Doheny Drive near the Four Seasons Hotel. One was a Mediterranean-style apartment house built in the late 1980s. The average sale price of the 32 units was $200,000, an unusually high price for apartments. But she points out that each room in each unit including the bathrooms had its own telephone jack. And each apartment featured a jacuzzi.
Lustig-Bower became interested in handling residential property when she was selling laboratory equipment for Baxter Health Care Corp. and used her sales commissions to buy a duplex.
"The real estate agent was pushy," she said, "and I didn't want to get pushed."
She took a real estate course to learn more about the subject, earned her agent license, and decided to sell buildings rather than test tubes.
David Norcutt, then an Ellis broker, hired her as his assistant, and she spent three years helping him sell residential, commercial and industrial properties. After Norcutt left the firm, Lustig-Bower switched her focus to multifamily housing.
"This was in the early 1990s, when the banks owned a lot of foreclosed buildings," she says. "I went to the banks and pitched my business. I got the banks to believe I could sell some of their buildings."
Lustig-Bower earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from USC. Last Valentine's Day, she married Tim Bower, a retail broker who also works for Ellis.
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