Voit Real Estate Services LLC, a Newport Beach commercial real estate brokerage and asset services firm, opened its first brokerage office in Los Angeles County on Sept. 1.

The new Commerce office is being led by broker David Fults. He, Brian McLoughlin and Ryan Lewis joined Voit in August after leaving CB Richard Ellis Group Inc.

Fults said the trio’s focus will be on the industrial market of central Los Angeles, though it will also cover the San Gabriel Valley. The office will handle both leasing and investment sales.

Though Commerce seems like an unlikely place for a brokerage to open its first county office, Fults said it made sense given his operation’s industrial work.

“Commerce is effectively the center of the industrial market in greater L.A.,” he said.

Fults said he left CB Richard Ellis because he was presented with an opportunity to play a key role in growing Voit’s industrial brokerage business.

“In this environment, most real estate companies are battening down the hatches and are trying to get expenses under control. Voit is the opposite,” he said.

Fults said that as many as four more brokers could be hired to staff the office.

Clifton’s Details

Last week’s announced sale by the Clinton family of its iconic Clifton’s Brookdale cafeteria has a unique structure.

Andrew Meieran, who owns downtown L.A.’s popular Edison bar, purchased Clinton’s Restaurants Inc., the family-run restaurant company, and signed a long-term lease with Clinton Investments LLC, the family entity that owns the five-story building that houses the restaurant. The deal was expected to close this week.

Meieran said he’d long considered buying by Clifton’s, the last of eight locations of the famed chain that was founded in the early 1930s. He had been negotiating a purchase of the building and restaurant, but the tight credit markets made it tough.

“The biggest issue right now is that the lending environment is impossible on restaurants, in particular single-use restaurants in historic buildings,” he said.

The price for the restaurant at 648 S. Broadway was not disclosed. The lease is a 10-year deal with four 10-year options, according to broker Ed Rosenthal of New Downtown Brokerage, who represented Meieran.

Meieran may still get a crack at buying the building. Robert Clinton, grandson of founder Clifford Clinton, said that Meieran’s deal includes a purchase option that expires in three years.

Meieran plans to overhaul the cafeteria’s menu, while adding two bars, a sit-down restaurant and upgrading the in-house bakery. In all, he plans to spend $2.5 million on the improvements, which will take as long as two years. Clifton’s will remain open for the duration.

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