Developer and investment management firm CityView has sold a Wilmington apartment complex it built last year to Redfern Family Trust for $75 million, according to public records.

CityView, based in Westwood, said last week that the deal marked the final sale of a property developed through its CityView Los Angeles Fund I, which raised $150 million in equity to invest in 21 projects in Los Angeles.

“It’s very difficult to build in L.A., and if we could focus on a fund dedicated to strong demand, difficult barriers to entry, and lack of supply, we could create value for investors,” said Sean Burton, CityView’s chief executive. “There was so much opportunity in L.A.”

CityView planned the Wilmington complex, called Solimar, as townhomes back in 2007, but the recession halted development. The firm hung on to the property, picked up a defunct car dealership next door, and ended up building 204 apartments on the bigger site.

Leasing began in September, and the building is now more than half occupied, according to Burton. Two-bedroom units begin at $2,399 a month, according to the Solimar website.

Greg Harris, an executive managing director at Marcus & Millichap, brought the buyer to the property and represented both sides in the transaction. The deal closed in December and translated to about $328,400 a unit. Title documents filed with the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s Office named the Redfern trust, headed by Thomas and Mary Redfern, as the buyer.

“We sold this earlier than anticipated because we got what we considered a strong offer,” Burton said.

CityView is now investing funds from its CityView West Fund I, which raised $150 million in equity to invest in projects in the Western and Southwestern United States.

Sweet Space

When Steven Sugarman resigned last month as chairman and chief executive of Irvine’s Banc of California Inc., he left behind a full floor of office space on the 19th story of a Santa Monica building overlooking the beach.

The 19th floor at 100 Wilshire Blvd., with about 10,440 square feet, has a reputation in local circles for its fine décor and finishes – not to mention the sweeping ocean views. That’s because its previous occupant was Peter J. Eichler Jr., who headed now-defunct money management firm Aletheia Research & Management Inc. That company was forced to shut down in 2013 after the Securities and Exchange Commission leveled fraud charges, pushing it into bankruptcy. But during the good times, when Aletheia had high-rolling clients including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, Eichler spent lavishly on his office. He told the Los Angeles Times in 2013 that he poured $5 million into the space’s design.

Sources familiar with the building, owned by Douglas Emmett Inc., said Banc of California has not made a move to pull out of the space, which it holds through a sublease. Bank representatives could not be reached for comment. Records provided by real estate data company CoStar have the direct tenant as medical software company Orion Systems International Inc.

According to CoStar, 100 Wilshire is fully leased, with monthly asking rents of $7.50 a square foot – among the highest rates in Los Angeles.

The average monthly rent in Santa Monica is $5.76 a square foot, according to fourth-quarter data from Jones Lang LaSalle.

Industrial Squeeze

Heavy equipment dealer Ring Power Corp. has leased a 70,640-square-foot building in Rancho Dominguez for five years in a $3.1 million deal, according to the Klabin Co., which represented landlord TA Associates. The lease comes as the vacancy rate in the Rancho Dominguez, Carson, and 91 Corridor areas – about 20 percent of the South Bay market – is at less than a half-percent.

According to David Grote, a Klabin principal, the vacancy rate was at about 2.2 percent at the beginning of last year and descended to approximately 0.5 percent by year’s end.

“We are in uncharted territory with vacancy rates at one-half of 1 percent,” Grote said in a statement. “It doesn’t take a genius to forecast increases in lease rates and sale prices during 2017.”

Title Swap

A broker who specializes in retail leases at CBRE has split off from the giant brokerage firm to launch her own company. Barbara Armendariz’s new downtown-based venture, SharpLine Commercial Partners, is a boutique firm focused on the retail and industrial sectors. Her goals for the company’s first year are to hire six brokers and facilitate transactions worth more than $80 million. Kevin Herron left CBRE to join as SharpLine’s vice president and will focus on industrial properties.

Staff reporter Daina Beth Solomon can be reached at dsolomon@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 556-8337.

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