LaTerra is investing in Burbank sites such as 777 Front St.

LaTerra is investing in Burbank sites such as 777 Front St.

Century City-based LaTerra Development had a busy end to 2021, which its executives attribute to a strong marketplace.

“The opportunities are there right now for LaTerra,” said Charles Tourtellotte, LaTerra’s chief executive. “We’re really capitalizing on a couple of things, the opportunities in the market, and we’re being strategic about working through our relationships and the locations where we’re going to strike next.”

 
His son and the company’s managing director, Chris Tourtellotte, added that multifamily assets — one of the product types LaTerra invests in — are “attracting a lot of capital” and are highly desirable right now.


In December, the company announced it purchased a 42-unit apartment building in West Hollywood called the Terraces at La Cienega for $29.2 million. The property, which was built in 1990, is at 1121 N. La Cienega Blvd., just a block off the Sunset Strip.


The company has plans to update the units and amenity spaces, including adding a new rooftop deck, as well as 10 additional apartment units. The 10 new units will be accessory dwelling units with one or two bedrooms added around the property.
“It’s rare to be able to find a multifamily development project, an existing project, which can accommodate ADUs, oftentimes because of the parking,” Chris Tourtellotte said. “This specific project had excess parking or a strong parking ratio. … As a result, we were able to identify areas to add 10 ADUs.”

 
He said the company is interested in doing more projects to which it can add ADUs.
Also in December, LaTerra acquired a fully entitled apartment development site for $8.2 million in Perris in Riverside County. The 16.2-acre site has been approved for 228 apartment units at 2700 N. Perris Blvd.

 
Charles Tourtellotte said the purchase was part of the company’s push into more suburban areas.
“We’ve gone suburban a bit,” he said. “We like Burbank, we like the Westside of L.A., but we’ve gone a bit more suburban, which adds some balance to our portfolio.”
“It brings in a different type of project as far as the design and the tenant profile,” he added.


Still, Burbank is a key market for the company.
In November, it announced that it and Vancouver-based QuadReal Property Group received a $199 million construction loan for a project at 777 N. Front St. in Burbank. Financing was provided by BMO Harris Bank and Citizens Bank. Once completed, the property will have 573 apartments, 69 of which will be affordable units.


Charles Tourtellotte called the loan the biggest in the company’s history.
LaTerra also received approval for a $450 million mixed-use complex at the former Fry’s Electronics store in Burbank. LaTerra plans to build 862 apartment units, 151,000 square feet of office space and 9,000 square feet of retail space.


“People like the story of L.A. and the ‘techtainment’ boom,” Chris Tourtellotte said. “We like Burbank because there’s a lot of jobs and not a lot of housing. It has the highest jobs to housing ratio in all of California.”


He added that only one apartment building had been built in Burbank in the last 20 years, making it incredibly desirable to build there now.
Charles Tourtellotte added that because of the number of media companies in the Burbank area, he expects the development’s office component to be taken over by a media company.


“Burbank is the media capital in the world,” Chris Tourtellotte said, adding that it has the lowest office vacancy rate of any city in the country.
“Our focus right now is going to still be L.A.,” he said.

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