Developer Wayne Ratkovich has decided to sell his mixed-use office campus the Alhambra, which sources said could fetch around $200 million.


The 28-acre Alhambra property, located at the corner of Mission Road and Fremont Avenue, was solicited to a small group of potential buyers last month. So far six firms consisting of pension funds, pension fund advisors, insurance companies and tenant-in-common syndicates have expressed interest in the property.


The listing includes the 18-building, 950,000-square-foot office campus, an 18,000-square-foot retail component that has been under construction since March and a residential portion that has entitlements for 350 units of condominiums and townhomes not yet built.


The office buildings are 93 percent leased. Ratkovich's company is negotiating a 20,000-square-foot lease with a health club, which would boost the project's occupancy to 97 percent.


Bill Boyd, executive vice president and managing director of Grubb & Ellis Co.'s downtown L.A. office, confirmed his firm has the listing but referred comments to The Ratkovich Co.


Calls seeking comment from Ratkovich weren't returned. Ratkovich's partner in the Alhambra project, Cigna Financial Partners Inc., wants to cash out its stake, sources said.


While the project is on the market, the sources said there's also a slight chance that Ratkovich could decide to refinance the property to buy out Cigna and maintain control.


The Alhambra started out in the 1920s as the corporate headquarters for C.F. Braun Co., a petrochemical engineering and construction firm that rose to prominence in the San Gabriel Valley in the early 20th Century.


In the early 1980s, the company was acquired by Santa Fe International, which continued to occupy the campus until the mid-1990s when Santa Fe began consolidating its operations in Dallas, Texas.


Ratkovich bought the property at 1000 S. Fremont Ave. in 1999 for $75 million. At the time the campus was half-empty and the buildings needed to be renovated. Ratkovich hired architecture firm Johnson Fain Partners to develop a master plan for the complex and assist with repositioning the property, which quickly leased up under the new management.


Lakewood landlord
Advanced Real Estate Services Inc. last week bought the 565-unit Lakewood Manor apartment complex from Kennedy Wilson Inc. for $76.6 million.


The property is part of a large 60-building apartment complex scattered on 12.5 acres near the Lakewood Mall. Kennedy Wilson bought the property a year and half ago for $68 million and sold off four buildings with 96 units to different buyers in late summer 2005.


Kennedy Wilson spent $3 million renovating the complex, located at 4907 Hayter Ave. More than 75 percent of the units in the complex have been renovated. Advanced Real Estate Services plans to spend another $11 million renovating the property.


Beverly Hills-based Kennedy Wilson increased the value of the property by raising rents, upgrading units and renovating the buildings' exteriors. Lakewood Manor, which is about 95 percent occupied, accounts for 15 percent of Lakewood's total apartment stock and it's one of the largest apartment complexes in Southern California.


"This was one of the perfect matches for us," said Richard Julian, president of the Lake Forest, Calif.-based real estate and management company. In the last six months, Advanced Real Estate Services has spent $100 million in multi-family properties and the company now owns apartment buildings containing 5,000 units.


Rents in the Lakewood area have been on the rise, according to apartment tracking firm RealFacts Inc. Since Kennedy Wilson bought the complex, average Lakewood rents have risen nearly 20 percent to $1,343.


Ronald Z. Harris, vice president of investments at Marcus & Millichap, represented the buyer and the seller in the transaction.


Burbank project
After two years of working with the city of Burbank and community groups, Crown Realty & Development Corp. received entitlements last week for its Buena Vista mixed-use project.


The project, which will contain 233 condominiums, 43 townhomes and 1,000 square feet for a ground floor restaurant, is planed for a 7.3-acre site at the corner of Buena Vista Street and Empire Boulevard.


Crown Realty and its partner in the project, San Diego-based apartment developer and manager Fairfield Residential LLC, have agreed to include 25 units of affordable housing. They will also pay for road improvements to offset the traffic impact from the project.


Crown Realty purchased the site which currently contains a 136,000-square-foot vacant office building from Warner Bros. about two-and-a-half years ago.


After researching what to do with the property, Crown Realty decided that for-sale residential units made the most sense.


"The city is being progressive here," said Jim O'Neil, Crown Realty's vice president of development. "There haven't been a lot of projects of this size done in Burbank. This is an example of very smart planning."


Crown Realty plans to start razing the existing structure to make way for the project in six to nine months, O'Neil said.


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

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