New York Life Real Estate Investors picked up the Rubix Hollywood apartments this month for $109 million.

The 221-unit building is 96 percent full, according to CoStar data. And with a location on McCadden Place near the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and North Las Palmas Avenue – within a block of Hollywood & Highland Center, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium, and the Musso and Frank Grill – the site was seen as a prime acquisition target.

“Rubix represents an excellent opportunity to invest in a high-quality asset in Hollywood’s thriving residential market,” Chris Hunt, senior director at New York Life, said in a statement. “We will begin renovating units and the common areas over the coming months so we can be well-positioned to take advantage of the strong tenant demand in this highly popular submarket.”

The Rubix was built in 2010 by Atlanta-based developer Wood Partners under the name Alta Hollywood. AIG Asset Management purchased the property the following year for an undisclosed amount. CoStar reported that the latest trade was an all-cash deal. New York Life Real Estate Investors, a subsidiary of New York Life Insurance Co., holds $46.3 billion in assets.

At $493,000 a unit, the deal tops a recent high mark for the area on a per-unit basis. The Jefferson at Hollywood, just one street over, sold to Essex Property Trust in 2013 for $120.5 million, or about $446,000 a unit. The Rubix deal is a sign that interest is still strong in Hollywood’s most bustling areas.

“For $500,000 a door, it’s a pretty solid price,” said Javier Rivera, a vice president in the capital markets group at Jones Lang LaSalle who was not involved in the deal.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Marc Renard, who represented AIG, declined to comment. AIG did not return a request for comment.

Retail Revival

A retail complex on a gritty stretch of Glendale Boulevard in Echo Park is prepping for a makeover. Dubbed Echo Park Village by owner Veneto Capital Management, the roughly 23,000-square-foot site near Echo Park Lake is slated to bring in a mix of new food and retail tenants once its rehab is completed in the summer.

Beverly Grove-based South Park Group Inc. is taking the lead in recruiting tenants, and has so far landed Clark Street Bread, a bakery that sells loaves at downtown’s Grand Central Market. The new location will give Clark Street a production facility along with a storefront café to sell coffee and baked goods.

South Park Senior Vice President Steven Ravan said the project also is in lease negotiations with a yoga concept and a restaurant group. The next step would be to scout for a bar, juicery, and ice-cream shop. The idea is to create a community retail center to serve the neighbors.

“Right now, there’s not much more than Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park, but I think there’s room to branch into side streets,” he said.

Echo Park Village in recent years was best known as the home of Haitian chicken eatery TiGeorges’, owned by George Laguerre. The restaurant closed in April. In May, Beverly Hills-based Veneto purchased the building for $3.4 million from Monryheng Inc. It soon began stripping away the aging facades and interiors, leaving brick walls and vaulted bow-truss ceilings. Although a long-standing Thai restaurant plans to remain, most of the other tenants have already cleared out.

Beverly Grove Development

An 8,800-square-foot retail site in Beverly Grove just traded for $7.5 million, or $850 a square foot. Ian Strano, an executive vice president at NAI Capital who brokered the deal, said the buyer, Arash Danialifar, swallowed the high price because he plans to replace the building with a larger development.

One option is to demolish the one-story building, currently a furniture showroom, and construct a taller complex incorporating ground-floor retail and upper-floor office space targeting local entertainment companies.

The seller, San Francisco-based Hamilton Partners, purchased the building in 2007 for $5.5 million.

Staff reporter Daina Beth Solomon can be reached at or (323) 549-5225, ext. 237.

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