In what Bruce Baltin of downtown L.A.’s CBRE Group Inc.’s hospitality consulting firm PFK Consulting USA said was one of the biggest hotel deals in Los Angeles County this year, Carey Watermark Investors Inc., a New York real estate investment trust, bought the Westin Pasadena for $143 million, or about $408,000 a room, last week.

CWI bought the 350-room hotel, at 191 N. Los Robles Ave., from Norwalk, Conn., hotel investment group HEI Hotels & Resorts, which will continue to manage the property.

CWI was interested in the 266,000-square-foot property because it is well-located, according to Guy Lawrence, a spokesman for CWI.

“It’s an attractive cash-flowing asset in a market that has strong demand with leisure and commercial travelers,” Lawrence said.

The firm plans to add value through extensive renovations to all of the guest rooms, replacing everything from wallpaper to furniture, he said. In addition to the purchase price, CWI is investing $15.5 million toward those renovations and other acquisition-related costs.

Eastdil Secured, a New York real estate firm that represented the seller, did not respond to requests for comment.

“The hotel market is healthy right now, with far more potential buyers than owners willing to sell – which makes the market ideal for owners who want to remove their capital and put it elsewhere,” Baltin said. “Since HEI is retaining management of the hotel, the sale was a way for them to get their money out while still maintaining an income stream from fees.”

The per-room price for the hotel is not considered high. Last month, L.A. billionaire David Geffen sold the 47-room Malibu Beach Inn for about $1.7 million a room, almost $80 million in total.

Creative Office Grab

Pacshore Partners, an L.A. real estate investment firm run by Philip Orosco, and Canyon Catalyst Fund, a joint venture between L.A.’s Canyon Capital Realty Advisors and California Public Employees’ Retirement System, have partnered to acquire creative office buildings in Malibu and Playa Vista in two separate transactions totaling $36 million.

The Pacshore-led venture purchased the Enclave, a 32,417-square-foot Class B office complex at 22619 Pacific Coast Highway above Carbon Beach in Malibu earlier this month from Theory R Properties, a family real estate office in Ladera Ranch.

The partners paid $20.5 million, or about $617 a square foot, for the three-building office campus, designed by architect Clive Bridgwater, that has been the headquarters of Jakks Pacific Inc. since the toy company’s founding in 1995. Jakks expanded to be the sole tenant of the building in 2005, but is now relocating to Santa Monica. The buyers plan to lease the building to several smaller companies.

“Pacshore saw this as an opportunity to acquire a trophy building in Malibu, where office vacancy is less than 3 percent and there is a tremendous barrier to entry,” said Andrew Jennison, a partner at Santa Monica firm Industry Partners who represented both the buyers and the seller, and will handle leasing for the property.

“A building like this, built into the hills, couldn’t be constructed today with the current restrictions,” Jennison said.

Theory R sold the complex because it is focusing on acquisitions in Arizona and is selling its California buildings, he said.

The Pacshore-led venture also purchased a 39,600-square-foot Class B industrial office building in Playa Vista from L.A. firm Garbo Holdings for $15.9 million, or $425 a square foot, last month.

Garbo had been leasing the warehouse, at 12901 Jefferson Blvd., for film production, which wasn’t its most profitable use, Jennison said. Garbo elected to move to a less expensive space in Gardena, cashing in on the hot Playa Vista market.

The two-story building will undergo a significant core and shell renovation that will add mezzanine space and increase the square footage of the property, he said.

The joint venture, which has also acquired the Telephone Building at 1314 Seventh St. in Santa Monica and owns five acres of land under a Santa Monica media park at Olympic Boulevard and Centinela Avenue, is focused on developing industrial buildings into creative space, for which there is high demand in Playa Vista, he said.

Jennison, along with Industry Partners’ Travis Landrum and Jim Jacobsen represented the buyers and the sellers in both sales.

Office Moves

David Youssefyeh, a Century City attorney who represented 20 investors who lost money to bankrupt Brentwood real estate investor and alleged Ponzi schemer Ezri Namvar, is trying out a new profession as a real estate broker. He will oversee Barlavi Realty’s Century City office, the firm’s first outside New York, which opened last week. The outpost, at 1925 Century Park East, will start out small, with six agents or fewer, said Chief Executive Pej Barlavi. It will focus on luxury residential and commercial properties. … Chicago’s Bridge Development Partners, a privately owned firm focused on developing and acquiring industrial and office properties, opened its first West Coast office in Los Angeles this month, with Brian Wilson joining as the principal overseeing operations. Wilson was formerly a vice president at Ontario’s Hillwood Investment Properties, which falls under the Perot Cos. umbrella. … CBRE announced last week that Lynn Williams and Jeffery Welch, both formerly of Cushman & Wakefield Inc., will join the company as vice chairwoman and executive vice president, respectively. Williams was a vice chairman at Cushman & Wakefield, where she was a founding member of its national law firm practice advisory group. The two will join CBRE’s occupier advisory & transaction services group and will work out of its downtown L.A. headquarters.

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.