Quietly but steadily, Elkor Realty Corp. has been expanding its Los Angeles-area apartment portfolio in recent months, with purchases of complexes in Hollywood and Marina del Rey and several others pending.
The Chicago-based apartment owner/rehabber has amassed about 25 buildings in infill locations in L.A., several of which are under renovation currently. It also has pending ground-up development deals in Pacific Palisades, Pasadena, West Hollywood and Westwood.
"Typically, we buy B- and C-quality buildings and turn them up a notch, and try to bring a high level of design to the rehab so it's more than a 1960s' box and there's a real feeling of place," said Gregory Schem, managing partner with Elkor in L.A. Among the new design flourishes in Elkor's rehabs are terrazzo floors, stylish lighting and reupholstered vintage couches in the lobby.
Elkor's latest purchase is the historical 96-unit Ravenswood Apartments at 570 Rossmore Ave. near the Wilshire Country Club, for $10.3 million (brokered by Karoline Sauls of Sperry Van Ness). Schem said the plan is to "continue the renovation the prior owner started. It needs an upgrade inside and outside."
Built in the 1920s, the seven-story Art Deco building was home to a series of well-known tenants, including Mae West, the late Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley and Clark Gable.
"It's really a classic-designed building," Schem said. "We can do a lot more to bring back attention to the historical architectural treatments."
One of the areas where Elkor has been most active lately is Hollywood. The company has bought 15 to 20 buildings there in the past year, including several on Hillside Avenue that are being renovated and another at 1201 N. Crescent Heights, where the upgrade is almost complete.
Elkor also has branched out from apartments in its L.A. portfolio. It developed the 88-room Avalon Hotel, which opened a year ago in Beverly Hills, and last week completed the remake of the former Beverly House Hotel, now renamed Maison 140, a 48-room boutique hotel across from the Peninsula.
Elkor is under contract to purchase several other boutique hotels, in Santa Barbara, Santa Monica and Palm Springs.
"They're hotels that need renovation but are in strong markets," Schem said.
Elkor's other non-apartment purchase locally in recent months is the Boat Yard in Marina del Rey, where it is bringing in new specialty retailers to supply the boating community. A 10,000-square-foot building for West Marine, a boating-supply company, is under construction.
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