Fred Segal on Melrose Avenue has been an iconic fashion site since the 1960s, gathering cutting-edge designers in a low-slung building coated with ivy. Now that site has just sold for $43 million, the first time the 29,000-square-foot property has been on the market in four decades.
“We experienced incredible interest from all types of buyers – local to international and private capital to institutional,” said Ed Sachse, executive managing director for Kennedy Wilson’s brokerage based in Beverly Hills. He represented the buyer, real estate investor CormackHill of Vancouver, British Columbia, as well as the seller, 8100 Melrose Associates, which he described as a family that wished to focus on other business interests. The family bought the site from Fred Segal in a private deal about 15 years ago.
The high-end clothing retailer also has a site in Santa Monica and, since its acquisition by New York-based Sandow in 2012, has opened outposts at Los Angeles International Airport as well as in Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan. The Santa Monica Fred Segal will soon relocate to Playa Vista. The site it is vacating is slated to be replaced by a seven-story apartment building called 500 Broadway.
Sachse said the Melrose site’s new owner does not plan any big changes.
“Their interest is to really maintain the iconic retail nature of 8100 Melrose,” he said. “With the closure of Fred Segal in Santa Monica, I think that Fred Segal Melrose is here to service the community for high-fashion needs.”
A Sandow spokeswoman said the company would not comment on plans for the Melrose location.
Part of its attraction has been the strength of the local retail environment. Although Melrose Heights has experienced ups and downs, Sachse said rents have stabilized at about $5 or $6 a square foot on Melrose Avenue, where stores near Fred Segal offer luxury casual wear and high-end home goods.
Towers on Track
The proposed Palladium Residences has won one battle but could soon face another.
The Los Angeles City Council voted to approve the project, which would erect two 28-story towers with 730 units in Hollywood. But the AIDS Healthcare Foundation said it planned to sue to block construction, arguing the project is too big for the neighborhood and does not comply with zoning regulations.
“This is yet another flagrant example of the ‘pay to play’ culture infecting Los Angeles involving developers, the City Council, the Planning Department, and City Hall,” Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said in a statement.
The Palladium project, planned by developer Crescent Heights for a Sunset Boulevard parcel next to the Hollywood Palladium theater, has contended that its size will help to fill a demand for housing in Los Angeles.
The developer seeks to break ground as soon as possible, said Aaron Green, a Palladium Residences spokesman, adding, “Any litigation filed against this project is simply frivolous.”
The AIDS foundation has been waging the battle to halt the Palladium keystone through an offshoot activist group, the Coalition to Preserve L.A. That organization’s aim – to halt large-scale developments in areas not necessarily zoned for large structures – led to a proposed ballot measure called the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative. That measure would ban for up to two years any project that requires city approval to circumvent zoning rules. Originally planned for the November ballot, the initiative has recently been pushed back and may land on the March 2017 ballot.
Koreatown Heats Up
A Wilshire Boulevard apartment in Koreatown has switched hands for $73.5 million, jumping far beyond its $48 million price tag in 2010. Corona-based Watermarke Properties Inc. sold the site, Gardens at Wilshire Center, to Greystar Real Estate Partners of Charleston, S.C.
Elsewhere in Koreatown, new apartment buildings are shooting up.
The Pearl on Wilshire from Westwood developer CityView plans to open in 2018 with 346 apartments and 8,000 square feet of retail, centered between two light-rail stations on Wilshire.
Koreatown-based Jamison Services Inc. is building a 226-unit project on Olympic Boulevard that will offer 16,300 square feet of retail. It is slated to open early next year.
Affordable housing has a place in Koreatown’s growth, too: Meridian Apartments, slated for completion late next year, will bring 100 affordable housing units near the subway station at Beverly and Vermont.
Staff reporter Daina Beth Solomon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (323) 549-5225, ext. 263.
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