Billionaire entertainment titan David Geffen and West Hollywood investor Mani Bros. Real Estate Group have continued their Malibu swapathon.

Mani late last month paid Geffen a record per-unit price for a 10-unit oceanfront apartment complex, acquiring the 8,000-square-foot low-rise building at 22648 Pacific Coast Highway for almost $15 million, or $1.5 million a unit.

It marks the highest price-per-unit for any apartment building in Los Angeles County history and came in at more than twice the $606,000-a-unit average for apartment sales in the seaside city.

Geffen developed the apartment complex and had owned it for a decade, said Bob Safai of Madison Partners, who represented both the buyer and the seller. It is fully occupied.

Simon Mani, who runs Mani Bros. with brother Daniel, said the firm was interested in the location, two doors down from popular restaurant Nobu, above all else. Mani Bros. plans to work with interior designer Waldo Fernandez to remodel the apartments as they become available.

Representatives of Geffen did not respond to a request for comment.

Safai said Mani Bros., which purchased the 47-room Malibu Beach Inn at 22878 Pacific Coast Highway – 100 yards away from the apartment complex – from Geffen for $80 million in February, is bullish on Malibu.

At $1.7 million a room, the Malibu Beach Inn also sold for a record price for an L.A. hotel.

“The Malibu market is very hot and investors are willing to accept lower yields for prime locations,” Safai said. “There’s only so much ocean front.”

That might bode well for Carlyle Group. The Washington, D.C., private equity firm has listed its 68-unit Villa Malibu complex for sale with Madison Partners. The 136,000-square-foot Class A multifamily building, at 6487 Cavalleri Road, contains a gym, tennis court and pool with cabanas. It is 97 percent occupied, but Safai said it could be positioned for condo conversion.

Carlyle has owned the property for more than a decade and Safai speculated that it could fetch $80 million, nearly $1.2 million a unit.

Soho Adjacent

In addition to attracting bold-face names, London private club Soho House, which opened a West Hollywood outpost in 2010, has apparently become a magnet for real estate investment.

After club founder Nick Jones told Hollywood Reporter that he had zeroed in on a warehouse in downtown L.A.’s Arts District as the elite club’s second L.A. location, industry sources identified the site as a 69,000-square-foot brick building at 1000 S. Santa Fe Ave.

On the heels of this news, a roughly 2-acre paved lot nearby, at 2110 Bay St., sold last week in an off-market deal.

Bay Capital Fund, a limited liability corporation registered in Los Angeles in March, purchased the 77,000-square-foot lot April 7 for $11.5 million from Viertel Family Trust. The owner of the site had died, and the trust was set up to sell the property and other assets, according to Adam Tischer, vice president at Colliers International’s downtown office, who represented the buyer.

The buyer might have considered the impending opening of Soho House a catalyst for the area’s growth or perhaps hopes to absorb the foot traffic of its members.

“There were rumors swirling around that Soho House was looking for property in the general vicinity,” Tischer said. “We combined that with clear evidence of the momentum of the Arts District moving south, with Bestia and Church and State, and it looked like an excellent way to be a part of an emerging area.”

The buyer is evaluating numerous plans for the building, Tischer said. Potential uses include retail, restaurant and hospitality. A residential use would require rezoning.

Staff reporter Hannah Miet can be reached at hmiet@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 549-5225, ext. 228.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.