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Downey Industrial Sale Brings Trio Top Honors

Three Kidder Mathews brokers have won a Society of Industrial and Office Realtors award for the largest dollar volume land transaction.

Robert Thornburgh, Tom Holland and Jon Reno received honors for the biggest deal by dollars in Los Angeles in 2017 for the $47 million sale of the Downey Industrial Center, a 29-acre property at 9400 Hall Road in Downey.

CoStar Group Inc. reported the $47 million sale price, but sources close to the deal said it was $48 million.

Prologis Inc., a San Francisco-based multinational logistics real estate investment company, bought the property from limited liability company Downey Industrial Center for an undisclosed amount.

Kidder Mathews serves as the leasing team and property management for the site.

The SIOR Transaction Awards honor SIOR members who have completed significant deals in several categories within the award year.

Thornburgh, Hollands and Reno have each served in various leadership roles within SIOR.

Thornburgh is SIOR’s global president-elect and will assume the role of SIOR global president later this year.

Containers as Classrooms

A sizeable container-based after-school facility in Los Angeles is under construction at 625 S. Lafayette Park Place in the Westlake district.

The facility will be three stories and nearly 24,000 square feet, serving as the campus for the Heart of Los Angeles school, according to SG Blocks, a New York-based builder and designer of container-based structures.

The project will nearly double capacity for Heart of Los Angeles, a nonprofit that offers free programs in arts, academics and athletics to underserved youth, according to its website.

“These containers are being delivered 95 percent finished,” said Paul Garvin, chief executive officer of SG Blocks, in an interview with the Business Journal.

It has taken about 20 weeks for the company to build the school, Garvin said.

“The idea that we could fabricate a school in five months is revolutionary,” he added.

Heart of Los Angeles’ current main office is at 2701 Wilshire Blvd. The organization serves more than 2,300 children and families – with 300 families currently on its waiting list, said Kati Bergou, a HOLA representative.

Other developers and architects are in the process of transforming shipping containers into retail space or housing for the homeless in the area, including an expected 84-unit transitional housing project called Hope on Alvarado, also in Westlake. The four-story building will be located south of Beverly Boulevard, according to a recent announcement, and will be comprised of studio and one-bedroom apartments measuring between 400 square feet and 480 square feet each.

Aedis Real Estate Group is the developer of Hope on Alvarado. Irvine-based KTGY Architecture & Planning is the project’s architect.

Rents Slow Down

Average rent in the Los Angeles metro area rose 3.1 percent last year to $2,181 for a one-bedroom apartment, a sign that rent growth is slowing, according to Richardson, Texas-based real estate technology and analytics firm RealPage Inc.

In comparison, the rental rate in 2016 grew 4.6 percent on average in Los Angeles, according to RealPage.

Las Vegas topped the nation for rent growth last year at 6.2 percent, RealPage said.

The slowdown on rental rates preceded a cooling in the apartment occupancy rate in Los Angeles during the first quarter of 2018, when it slipped 0.8 points to 95.7 percent from a year earlier, according RealPage.

That number tied Los Angeles for eighth among U.S. metropolitan areas along with Detroit, San Diego, San Francisco and Riverside-San Bernardino, according to the firm. Minneapolis-St. Paul topped the list with 96.5 percent occupancy.

The big picture still indicates that Los Angeles is chronically undersupplied in terms of housing countywide even as rent growth is slowing down, according to Greg Willett, chief economist at RealPage.

There are slightly more than 19,000 units undergoing construction in Los Angeles, the firm said.

Occupancy for apartments nationwide slipped 0.5 points to 94.5 percent last year, while annual rent growth was 2.3 percent, the slowest pace of increase since the third quarter of 2010. Historically, that’s more a return to normal compared with the unusually tight rental market of recent years.

Staff reporter Ciaran McEvoy can be reached at cmcevoy@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 556-8337.


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