Developer Wayne Ratkovich has found a new partner for his San Gabriel Valley mixed-use office campus, The Alhambra, in a transaction valued at $200 million.


The Ratkovich Co., which specializes in urban infill projects, formed a partnership with a real estate investment affiliate of American International Group Inc. to continue the management and development of the campus. The 40-acre, 1 million square foot complex had been in the market since late last year.


The partnership purchased the interest of Ratkovich's former partner, Connecticut General Life Insurance Co., which had been looking to cash out its investment. The deal included a $130 million loan with Goldman Sachs and placement of a new $6.15 million loan with Column Financial Inc. for The Shops at The Alhambra. The 17,700-square-foot neighborhood shopping center was built by Ratkovich in 2004 across the street from the 1000 South Fremont Ave. main campus.


This is the second time Ratkovich has had to find a new partner since acquiring the property in 1999. The Alhambra started out in the 1920s as the corporate headquarters for prominent petrochemical engineering and construction firm C.F. Braun Co. In the early 1980s, the company was acquired by Santa Fe International, which continued to occupy the campus until the mid-1990s.


Ratkovich developed a new master plan that repositioned The Alhambra as a mixed-used community that includes 20 mid-rise office structures built around a landscaped commons. Tenants include the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Services, USC Keck School of Medicine, Tenet Healthcare Corp. and Care 1st Health Plan.


Ratkovich's plans for building out The Alhambra include development of an L.A. Fitness Center, expected to be finished in late 2007, and construction of 351 condominiums and townhouses at a 10.5-acre site on the northeastern end of the campus. The Alhambra City Council is scheduled to consider Ratkovich's application for the residential entitlements this week. An additional seven acres would remain for future development.


The move into residential development reportedly is what prompted Connecticut General to cash out. Clare De Briere, Ratkovich's chief operating officer, said AIG has been much more enthusiastic about the potential for The Alhambra to finally become a true mixed-use community.


"AIG, regardless of its size, is very entrepreneurial in the way they think about, look at and acquire real estate," De Briere said. "I think what they bring is an extremely good understanding of what we as entrepreneurial developers do, and a belief in the value that we're going to create with the residential development."


William Boyd, senior vice president of Grubb & Ellis Co. and Scott McMullin, executive managing director of Holliday, Fenoglio, Fowler LP assisted in negotiating the transaction.


Pacific Palisades Building Sold
Raffi Krekorian's Encino-based commercial real estate advisory firm, Investment Real Estate Associates, announced the sale for $17 million of an 18-unit Sunset Boulevard conversion project well known to Pacific Palisades residents.


The distinctive bleached wood complex, which dates from the early 1980s and is located at 17351 W. Sunset Blvd., is comprised of two commercial units and 16 residential units that will be renovated and sold as individual condominiums. The residential units, now vacant, originally were designed as condos, but were used as rentals for the past several years.


Clark Everitt, a senior associate at Investment Real Estate represented the seller, Palisades Sunset Associates LLC. Clark Everitt and William Everitt, also a senior associate at Investment Real Estate, represented the buyer, 16 Sunset, LLC.


Law Firm Finds Home
Finding just the right Century City suite for the growing law offices of Moldo Davidson Fraioli Seror & Sestanovich LLP was somewhat of coup for Staubach Los Angeles principal Gary Horwitz. Locating nearly 25,200 square feet of Class A office space on a single floor on the Westside is hard enough these days, let alone in Century City a magnet for high-powered law firms.


Moldo Davidson, in fact, will only have to move across the street from its current office at Watts Plaza to the 21st floor of the Century City Twin Towers. It'll be subletting the floor, which is 40 percent larger than its current offices, from the Los Angeles office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, which decided it needed less space.


Moldo Davidson will sublease the space at 2029 Century Park East for seven years in a transaction valued at $16 million.


"The space is already built out for a law firm so it will be an easy move," said Horwitz, whose firm searched from Santa Monica to Beverly Hills for a larger home for Moldo Davidson, which has grown to 30 attorneys from 23 in the past two years. "We were thrilled to find this."


Horwitz, Jeff Pion of CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. and Moldo Davidson's real estate partner Thomas R. Sestanovich represented the tenant in the deal. Allan Wolf of Wolf Commercial Brokerage represented the sub-landlord.

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