An acre and a half of land for sale in Beverly Hills’ famed Golden Triangle could produce Los Angeles County’s priciest land sale ever.
The 64,000-square-foot parcel at the southeastern corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Linden Drive, marketed as a prime location for a luxury hotel and condominium project, could fetch as much as $3,100 a square foot, or nearly $200 million. That’s at least according to some observers.
However, Laurie Lustig-Bower, a CBRE Group executive vice president who has the listing for the site, wouldn’t say how much she thinks the property will sell for or how much owner Daryoush Mahboubi-Fardi is expecting. But she added that it’s a prime location in one of the country’s most high-end markets.
“You can’t compare it to other land sales,” Lustig-Bower said. “It’s rare to get 64,000 square feet right at the triangle.”
Mahboubi-Fardi, who Lustig-Bower said has owned the land since the 1970s, declined to comment. An Iranian emigrant, Mahboubi-Fardi was reportedly a longtime business associate of the late designer and Rodeo Drive merchant Bijan Pakzad.
CBRE started marketing the property to developers and hotel brands about a month ago and has asked potential buyers to submit bids by Jan. 31.
The site, 9730 Wilshire, has 160 feet of frontage along the boulevard and runs nearly 500 feet south along residential Linden Drive. A two-story medical building occupies the north end of the property, with a three-story apartment building at the south end. Parking lots separate the buildings.
The plan suggested by the seller calls for tearing down those structures and building a six- or seven-story hotel and condominium complex, with 100 to 150 hotel rooms, 66 condos and about 5,000 square feet of retail space, plus three levels of underground parking.
The site is not permitted for those uses, however, and marketing materials suggest it could take a buyer about two years to get permission from the city for such a project. The lack of entitlements could reduce the sale price.
But if those plans were approved – or if a buyer were confident of getting them approved – market observers suggest it could justify the massive estimated price tag.
Mark Esses, founder of Santa Monica’s California Realty Group, said the land could command such a price given the potential value of a hotel and condo project there.
“That’s reasonable for what they think they can do there. It should be over $3,100 a square foot on the land,” said Esses, who at the beginning of the year brokered a deal for a site on the north side of the Golden Triangle that came in at more than $1,000 a foot.
Brokers said demand for high-end condos in Beverly Hills is strong, and the Wilshire-Linden site’s long frontage along Linden makes it a good spot for condos.
Lustig-Bower said condos would average about 2,000 square feet and could command prices of about $3,000 a square foot – or $6 million for the average unit.
She noted that was more than the roughly $2,200 a square foot paid for the high-end condos at the nearby Montage Hotel and Residences, but those units hit the market in 2009 when prices were lower.
Robert Cohen, Southern California president of New York real estate brokerage Robert K. Futterman & Associates, said there’s unmet demand for high-end condos in Beverly Hills.
“There were several projects that were contemplated but never executed because of the recession,” he said. “There’s a lot of young money in Beverly Hills. And at this site, you could walk to work, walk to restaurants – you’re right in the triangle.”
If Lustig-Bower’s estimates prove out and the project is built as suggested, the condo portion of the project could fetch almost $400 million if it sold out at the asking price.
A luxury hotel at the site could be worth between $100 million and $150 million, depending on the number of rooms, said Alan X. Reay, president of Irvine hotel brokerage and consulting firm Atlas Hospitality Group.
“The western part of Los Angeles and between Beverly Hills and Santa Monica is the best performing hotel market in California,” Reay said. “And it’s very difficult to get into Beverly Hills. A lot of people will pay a premium because of the location. If you had it open right now, you’d have interested buyers lined up out the door.”
Still, even with a potential project value of $500 million, nearly $200 million is a huge price for such a small property – more on a per-square-foot basis than even the biggest land deals of the previous real estate boom.
When developers Nicholas and Christian Candy bought the site of the former Robinsons-May department store on Wilshire in 2007 for $500 million, one of the biggest transactions in county history, it paid about $1,400 a square foot, less than half the estimated asking price for the Wilshire-Linden property.
The most expensive land deal in the county on record on a per-foot basis, according to CoStar Group, was the $65 million purchase in 2007 of a half-acre along Wilshire overlooking the Los Angeles Country Club. That amounted to $2,600 a square foot.
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