Business Journal showcases L.A. professionals who are sold on retail property development.

ATTORNEY

Peter Roth, 43

Los Angeles and Century City Chairman, Shopping Center and Retail Practice Group

Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP, Century City

Peter Roth immerses himself in all aspects of retail, from strategic planning to negotiating complex ground leases. It has come natural to the L.A. Angeles native, who earned his law degree from Duke University and started his career at Paul Hastings, where he became fascinated by real estate. After moving to Allen Matkins, he was part of a team that pulled together the land, leases and entitlements for the Hollywood & Highland Center, developer Trizec Hahn’s ambitious Hollywood redevelopment effort. He now leads Allen Matkin’s local retail group.

Why Retail: I like working with business folks as my clients, people who pour their heart and soul into their projects. When things go wrong, they’ll sell their houses and bootstrap themselves back up and keep fighting for another day. You see that entrepreneurial spirit even more in the retail real estate community.

How I Started: When I went to law school at Duke University, I knew I wanted to be a transactional attorney rather than a litigator. I started in another practice area, but I was interacting with a lot of attorneys who did real estate and I found what they were doing really interesting.

Most Rewarding Development: Finalizing reciprocal ground and theater leases with Mann Theatres that were necessary to assemble parcels for the Hollywood & Highland project. It was a huge project with lots of moving parts that required a lot of attorneys with different skills.

Most Challenging: I’d have to say Hollywood & Highland, too. In the middle of negotiations, the ownership of Mann changed and this new guy comes into town and starts tearing up all our work. It took time to get things back on track.

Best Thing About L.A. County Development: The diversity of geography, population and urban infill situations results in creative and distinctive solutions to get a retail project done, rather than cookie-cutter box deals.

Worst Thing: Not enough of it at the moment. There have been some standout projects, such as what Rick Caruso has done with the Grove and Americana, and the Seventh Street marketplace downtown that we’re involved with, and, of course, what AEG has done with LA Live. But the economy over the past decade hasn’t been creating jobs here as well it has in San Francisco. It’s those fundamentals that drive retail sales and development.

Dream Project: I’m working on it now in north San Diego, a mixed-use commercial, residential and retail center which will be a live-work-play jewel when completed later this decade.

My Colleagues Don’t Know: I spin records and review high performance audio equipment for UltraAudio.com and SoundStageHiFi.com.

If Weren’t Doing This I Would Be: Importing and distributing cutting-edge audio equipment from around the world. I’m a real audiophile.

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