The historic Broadway Trade Center building in downtown Los Angeles was sold last week to a pair of New York investors.

The buyers were Waterbridge Capital, a real estate firm with more than 3 million square feet under management, and Jack Jangana, an individual investor. They closed on the sale of the 1.1 million-square-foot building at 801 S. Broadway on Aug. 20. The seller of the century-old property was Shahram Afshani of Liberty National Enterprises. Real estate sources estimate the sale is valued at approximately $130 million.

Built in 1908, the five-story Broadway Trade Center first opened as the Hamburger’s department store, the largest of its kind on the West Coast at the time. It became a May Co. department store in 1923, and in those first years the retailer constructed a nine-story addition to the building and a parking garage. The department store company left the building in the early 1990s, and shortly after that the Afshani family purchased the property. Since then, the once-glamorous building has been home to dozens of small swap meet-type retail stalls on the ground floor and garment manufacturers on the upper levels.

The buyers are said to have extensive renovation plans for the massive beaux arts-style building, though they declined to comment yet on what those plans might entail. However, City Councilman Jose Huizar, who has been pushing for the revitalization of Broadway, said in April that Waterbridge plans a mixed-use development for the building, which might include offices, a hotel, stores and apartments or condominiums.

Such an undertaking will no doubt be expensive. In recent years, the building has fallen into such a state of disrepair that some estimate it would cost more than $200 million to bring it back as a viable creative office and retail center.

Jeremiah Curry and Frank Lahijani of Global Commercial Real Estate represented the buyers. Phillip Sample, Chris Caras and Michael Shustak of CBRE Group Inc. represented the seller.

Burbank Buy

Plaza Del Sol, an 11.4-acre retail center next to the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, was sold late last month for $26 million, or about $137 a square foot.

San Diego real estate company Tourmaline Capital Management purchased the three-building complex July 31 from Barco Real Estate Management of Glendale. The nearly 190,000-square-foot neighborhood retail center at 10950-10970 Sherman Way was entirely occupied at the time of the sale, anchored by San Fernando grocery retailer Vallarta Supermarkets Inc. Other notable tenants include Powerhouse Gym, Oakwood Corporate Housing and meal delivery service Freshology.

Despite the property’s high occupancy rate, its sale was a loss for the seller, who purchased the property in 2007 at the top of the market for nearly $28 million.

Geoff Tranchina and Jason Gribin of Wilson Commercial Real Estate represented the buyer in the deal, and Deborah Collins of Collins Co. represented the seller.

Burgeoning Brokerage

Residential real estate company Partners Trust Real Estate Brokerage & Acquisitions is growing, both organically and through acquisition.

The Beverly Hills brokerage last week opened an office in La Canada Flintridge, the seventh location for the firm in the five years since it was first founded. Since its Brentwood debut in 2009, the firm has moved its headquarters to Beverly Hills and opened additional offices in Pasadena, Santa Monica and – just last month – Malibu.

Partners Trust added the Malibu office to its roster in July when it acquired luxury residential real estate firm Areté Estates. The small firm, which was founded by Sarah Kosasky and catered to high-net-worth clients, was rebranded as a Partners Trust office. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The firm’s office in La Canada Flintridge already has 15 agents, with an expectation of growing to up to 25 agents in the next several months. Between all seven of its offices, Partners Trust has grown from just five founding partners to almost 200 associates who together expect to exceed $2 billion in sales this year.

Nick Segal, president and a co-founder of Partners Trust, said the company’s growth has come at the behest of its entrepreneurial associates. That’s because the firm has an equity-based business model, which means agents who join the firm take a stake in the business and are encouraged to invest in its expansion.

Staff reporter Bethany Firnhaber can be reached at bfirnhaber@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 549-5225, ext. 235.

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