When a Guggenheim Partners affiliate announced in March it would buy the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2.15 billion, it didn’t just provide the baseball team with a boost. The real estate around Dodger Stadium appears to be benefiting, too.
Since the announcement, at least a half-dozen properties in a one-mile radius of the stadium have sold, gone into escrow or been listed. That’s about double the rate of the previous year’s activity.
Brokers said interest in the area is increasing on the belief that the new owners intend to improve the stadium and beef up safety. What’s more, there’s the notion that an attraction will be built on the parking lots around the stadium.
“There’s no question that someone investing $2 billion here is going to enhance the value of the area – like Staples Center did to downtown,” said Frank Evanisko, president of Studio City land brokerage Evanisko Realty & Investment Inc. in.
Evanisko and his colleague David Melaugh last month brokered a $1.4 million sale of a vacant site less than one-fifth of a mile from the stadium to a South Korean developer who plans to build parking for ballgame visitors. The half-acre lot on Sunset Boulevard had been on the market nearly nine months but sold soon after the sale announcement.
In another example, several parcels being sold as a site for a 28-unit condo complex at 957-973 Figueroa Terrace had sat on the market for more than 80 days before going into escrow this month.
In addition, a multifamily property at 738 Bernard St. recently went into escrow after three months on the market.
In the previous year, several properties sat on the market for more than 190 days before they sold.
Of course, some of this interest may simply reflect increasing demand in Echo Park. Between gentrifying Silver Lake and resurgent downtown, the working-class Echo Park area where Dodger Stadium is located has not seen the level of investment or development as its neighbors. Before the real estate crash, developers, assuming Echo Park could become an up-and-coming neighborhood, were entitling sites there for mixed-use and townhome projects. Those projects went away when the market crashed.
But the news that the Dodgers have a new well-capitalized ownership in the financial services group that’s headquartered in Chicago and New York is a significant contributing factor to bringing them back. That and the belief something notable may get built on the now-empty stadium parking lots.
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