The site housing Beverly Hills’ famed Stinking Rose restaurant might bloom into something bigger.
The property, at 55 N. La Cienega Blvd. on Restaurant Row, was sold to Beverly Hills real estate investor Abraham Assil last month in a deal valued at about $17 million, according to real estate sources.
Brad Conroy, president of L.A. boutique brokerage Conroy Commercial, represented seller Fain Walker in the deal. He and Daniel Leisner listed the property for $22 million in late 2013, touting the site’s development potential in marketing materials.
“This site is a real gem and would make a perfect site for a developer,” they wrote, citing coming construction of a light-rail station for the Metro Purple Line.
The city is expected to acquire property at the northeast corner of Wilshire and La Cienega boulevards by the end of the year through eminent domain for that purpose.
Assil, chief executive of Westland Development Group, could not be reached for comment on his plans for the site. The portfolio of properties listed on his company website show mostly older, low-rise residential holdings.
Replacing the 13,500-square-foot restaurant, which sits on a little less than an acre, with another use might be a long-term process.
“The property is not entitled, so the restaurant will continue to operate for the foreseeable future,” Conroy said.
The Stinking Rose property last traded hands nearly 70 years ago. Conroy said the longtime owners of the property, which had been passed down through three generations of Fain and Walker families, couldn’t agree on what to do with the site, so they listed it for sale.
“They knew they had a great asset, but there were too many owners involved for them to realize its potential,” he said.
In the 67 years the property belonged to the families, only two tenants occupied the building. From 1947 to 1993, it served as the original location for prime rib chain Lawry’s Restaurants Inc., and Stinking Rose has been in the building ever since.
A vacant ’80s-era office building in Playa Vista sold last week for $38 million.
West L.A. real estate investment trust Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. paid nearly $373 a square foot for the 102,000-square-foot Marina Corporate Center at 12655 W. Jefferson Blvd. in a sale that closed Oct. 20.
The seller, HighBrook Investment Management of New York, purchased a majority interest in the six-story Class B building in August 2013 for just $16.8 million. According to a press release from HighBrook at the time, the building was sold in an off-market transaction when existing ownership opted to recapitalize the property.
Alex Vouvalides, chief investment officer at Hudson, said the company is confident it will make money on the property, which has a lot of potential for improvement.
“Playa Vista is a proven market for media and technology companies, which complements our other Westside holdings that are similarly positioned to appeal to these industries,” he said. “The building has a great location and configuration that is ideal for repositioning as a creative office, allowing us to increase the value of the property.”
Entertainment marketing agency Trailer Park, which specializes in creating trailers for motion pictures, including for recent films such as “The Judge,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Godzilla,” has expanded its commitment to Hollywood.
The company signed a lease earlier this month for a sixth floor in the 12-story building at 6922 Hollywood Blvd., expanding the company’s presence by more than 15,000 square feet to 86,270 square feet overall.
Trailer Park, which has rooftop signage at the property, has been in the building since 2001, when it occupied just two floors. The company expanded to five floors in 2008, consolidating offices from Culver City and elsewhere in Hollywood.
Andy Lustgarten, corporate managing director in the downtown L.A. office of Savills Studley, represented the tenant in the deal. He declined to disclose terms of the Trailer Park lease deal, other than to say it was for about four years.
According to real estate data provider CoStar Group Inc., owner Hudson Pacific is asking about $3.90 a square foot a month. At that rate, Trailer Park’s lease would be valued at just over $2.8 million.
Lustgarten said Trailer Park had been looking for expansion space in the greater Hollywood area for six months before finding space in the building it already occupies.
“The building they’re in has historically been 100 percent leased, with very few vacancies,” he said.
The floor Trailer Park will take over in January was previously one of two floors occupied by the building’s former landlord, Hollywood developer CIM Group. The developer sold the building to Hudson Pacific in 2011 for $92.5 million. CIM will move to the Mid-Wilshire area by the end of the year, where it is renovating three buildings it bought in April from insurance company Farmers Group Inc. in a portfolio deal valued at $91 million.
Steve Salas, an executive vice president of Madison Partners, represented landlord Hudson Pacific in the Hollywood lease deal.
Staff reporter Bethany Firnhaber can be reached at email@example.com or (323) 549-5225, ext. 235.
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