Prices refuse to cool off for developable downtown Los Angeles lots.


Astani Enterprises Inc. and Hanover Financial Co. are paying top dollar for parcels on which they plan to build large condominium and apartment projects, respectively.


Hanover Financial has agreed to pay $7.8 million for a 17,500 square foot parcel held by Anschutz Entertainment Group. It plans to build a 175-unit, 26-story luxury apartment building at the northwest corner of Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street.


At nearly $450 a foot, Hanover, which is backed by Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., is paying some of the highest per-square-foot rates for undeveloped downtown land.


While plans for the apartment building have been previously reported, the deal for the land was only recently struck. The sale is expected to close by mid-year, sources said.


Meanwhile, Beverly Hills-based real estate investment firm Astani Enterprises has agreed to pay Thermo Cos. $38 million for a 129,000-square-foot parking lot bounded by Seventh and Eighth streets and Grand Avenue and Olive Street, according to sources close to the deal.


The firm's principal, Sonny Astani, is paying nearly $295 a foot for the land. The price closely matches the $30 million Astani paid in September for a 100,000-square-foot parking lot at the southwest corner of Figueroa and Eighth streets.


As with the earlier purchase, Astani is planning to entitle the land for a condominium project of an unspecified size, the sources said.


At the Figueroa Street lot, Astani plans a $140 million project containing two condo towers.


Calls to Astani weren't returned.


Medical Market


A group led by JD Market Acquisitions Inc., the real estate investment firm of attorney Jeff Katofsky, is paying $9 million for a 26,500 square foot medical office building in Santa Monica, according to Ian Strano, a partner at Lee & Associates, which represented the seller.


At $340 a foot, the price is high but fair, Strano said.


"The market for medical space is very, very tight," he said. "Plus you can't duplicate this building today. It would be a difficult task with the political climate we have in Santa Monica toady. So (Katofsky) paid a hefty price for that."


A group of physicians called 10th Street Medical Building Ltd. developed the office building at 1450 10th St. nearly 20 years ago.


As the doctors began to retire, the group decided to dissolve the partnership and sell the building to Katofsky's group, which calls itself Modern Miracles LLC. None of the remaining doctors practicing in the building will leave as a result of the sale.


"When we were in escrow, we went back and had all the doctors' leases modernized and extended so (Katofsky) was buying a building with long-term cash flow," Strano said.


Staff reporter Andy Fixmer can be reached by phone at (323) 549-5225, ext. 263, or by e-mail at afixmer@labusinessjournal.com .

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.