The 14-story Wilshire Bundy Plaza, a 307,000-square-foot office building that is one of the crown jewels of bankrupt businessman Ezri Namvar’s portfolio, has been listed for sale. While there is no asking price, the building could fetch more than $100 million, making it one of the biggest offerings in Los Angeles County this year, according to sources with knowledge of the West L.A. market.
The 12121 Wilshire Blvd. building formerly housed the headquarters of Namvar’s bankrupt main investment company, Namco Capital Group Inc., and Security Pacific Bank, which the businessman headed until it was declared insolvent and closed by regulators in November 2008.
Though Namco and Namvar are both bankrupt, the limited liability companies that own Wilshire Bundy Plaza are not. The property is owned by Wilbun 7 LLC, Mission Real Associates LLC, Civic Palm LLC, Wilshire Bundy Holdings LLC and Bunwil Capital LLC. Namvar is listed as the agent for service of process for four of the five LLCs, according to California secretary of state filings.
The court-appointed trustees in the Namvar and Namco bankruptcies have approved the marketing of the property. Todd Neilson, the Namvar trustee, acknowledged the convoluted structure of ownership, but said that all involved parties are on board with the sale. It is expected that a large portion of the proceeds would go to creditors of Namvar and Namco, which combined owe at least $866 million.
“We will await the closure of the sale prior to determining the allocation of any proceeds,” said Neilson in an e-mail interview. “The Wilshire Bundy building may very well be the most (valuable) asset in the Namvar estate.”
Bob Safai of Madison Partners, who has been retained as the broker, said that bids for the property are due Nov. 23 and so far there are more than 300 interested parties. He said that the deal is attractive because it includes assumable financing.
A handful of leases have recently been completed at the property, boosting occupancy to 85 percent. In an Oct. 14 deal, National Bank of California signed a 10-year lease for space on the 14th floor that formerly housed Namco.
In 2003, entities related to Namvar bought the building, which was on a ground lease at the time, for $75 million. The ownership group later purchased the underlying land for $11 million.
Greg Gill has left his position as executive managing officer of brokerage Charles Dunn Co.’s Long Beach office and has started a Long Beach office for brokerage Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services.
Gill, who has been named president of Lee’s South Bay operations, is making the move with eight to 10 other Charles Dunn brokers from Long Beach. Charles Dunn opted to close its Long Beach office Oct. 31 once its lease expired.
Gill said that he decided to take his office and industrial practice to Lee partly because of the company’s unique business model. The Newport Beach firm is owned by its brokers.
Gill, who left Charles Dunn in October, said he appreciated the opportunity to have equity in the company and “to really be able to make decisions with my partners, the other shareholders.”
Darrell Levonian, president of Charles Dunn, said that he wished Gill the best, but added that the company needed to close the Long Beach office because it was not operated similarly to other offices, which also have retail and multifamily practices.
Next year, Charles Dunn will open a larger South Bay office, but for now will operate a small Los Alamitos office, said Levonian.
“We plan to stay in the market,” he said.
Lowe Tax Award
Real estate developer and investor Lowe Enterprises Inc. has gotten a large tax credit from the federal government and will use the money to invest in lower-income neighborhoods.
The $45 million award from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s New Markets Tax Credit Program comes as the Brentwood company faces troubles at its new Terranea Resort in Ranch Palos Verdes, where it has defaulted on a loan.
However, the $45 million in tax credits, which were granted Oct. 30 to an affiliate of Lowe Enterprises, will not be used for any of the company’s existing projects.
Rick Newman, president of Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group West, said the company will be targeting real estate investments in neighborhoods with higher poverty rates or lower median income.
“Generally for us that will be retail projects and possibly municipal build-to-suit projects,” he said.
Staff reporter Daniel Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (323) 549-5225, ext. 263.
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