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Wednesday, Feb 21, 2024

Inglewood Moves on Project by Light-Rail Stop

When Inglewood announced last week that it had chosen five developers to compete for a bid to build a transit-oriented project near the site of a future Metro light-rail stop, it put a big emphasis on housing.

Each of the developers on the city’s shortlist to reimagine its historic commercial center has a portfolio with an extensive – if not exclusive – focus on housing, both affordable and market rate.

The companies chosen to move forward with formal proposals include: City Ventures of Alhambra in partnership with LAB Holding of Costa Mesa; Itex Group of Port Arthur, Texas; Naerok Group International Inc. of Los Angeles in partnership with Highridge Costa Development Co. of Gardena; Neighborhood Housing Services and Sticks Holdings of Los Angeles with Faithful Central Bible Church of Inglewood; and Thomas Safran & Associates of Brentwood.

The five were chosen from a list of 10 that turned in rough proposals after the city issued a request for qualifications in July. The project site consists of six parcels fronting Market Street and comprises about 4 acres. The largest parcel is a 2.7-acre site less than a block from the Florence-La Brea Metro stop now under construction. Initial proposals included a variety of uses for the parcels, including market-rate housing, retail and restaurant space as well as cultural amenities.

Inglewood Mayor James Butts said he was encouraged by the interest developers expressed in the project, particularly those with plans to include market-rate housing in addition to shopping and entertainment uses.

“It was our hope that we’d end up with a project that had a built-in shopping base to keep the street alive at all times,” he said. “Obviously, these developers heard us.”

The progress on the redevelopment site is part of an uptick in development in the area.

Among the major developments is Madison Square Garden Co.’s $100 million reboot of The Forum, a nearby concert venue and former home to both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Kings. Just down the street, the Hollywood Park Racetrack closed to make way for a 238-acre mixed-use community dubbed Hollywood Park Tomorrow. Between those two sites, Stan Kroenke, owner of the St. Louis Rams, purchased a 60-acre parcel that had been the site of a proposed Wal-Mart. He has not disclosed his plans for the property.

The finalists for the Market development project were asked to submit formal proposals in coming weeks; the city expects to choose a development team early next year.

Law Lease

While the theme struck in downtown Los Angeles has been that most professional firms are contracting and putting more space back on the market, one firm is bucking the trend.

Law firm Manning & Kass Ellrod Ramirez Trester last month renewed its lease for more than 80,300 square feet at the 801 S. Figueroa building, keeping the same footprint it has had there since 2006, when it moved in. The deal for four full floors in the 24-story building was the largest lease renewal for a law firm in Los Angeles in the past year.

Luke Raimondo, corporate managing director in the downtown L.A. office of Savills Studley, represented the law firm in the deal. He declined to disclose financial terms of the lease other than to say that it was a long-term extension.

According to real estate data provider CoStar Group Inc., asking rents in the building are about $3.24 a square foot a month. At that rate, a 10-year lease would be valued at more than $31.2 million.

Raimondo said the lease deal is more indicative of the strength of the law firm than of the strength of the downtown L.A. office market, which has seen many law and financial services firms downsize in recent years.

“There’s no question the trend has been toward consolidation,” he said.

The lease was signed just before Hollywood landlord Mani Brothers Real Estate Group sold the building. On Sept. 30, real estate investment management company Cornerstone Real Estate Advisors of Hartford, Conn., purchased the pink-granite building for about $175 million.

John Eichler of Cushman & Wakefield represented the building’s former owner in the deal.

Health Care Hold

A small medical office building in Glendale sold earlier this month for a big price.

CNL Healthcare Properties, a real estate investment trust out of Orlando, Fla., purchased the Lee Hughes Medical Building at 1500 E. Chevy Chase Drive for $29.9 million, nearly $443 a square foot.

Glendale Adventist Medical Center was the seller in the deal, which closed Oct. 6. The four-story Class B medical office building is now the only building on the 500-bed medical campus not owned by the hospital. Built in 2008, the nearly 67,500-square-foot office building, with a sky bridge connecting it to the main hospital, was 97 percent leased at the time of sale.

Stephen Mauldin, chief executive of CNL, said he was excited to strengthen the trust’s presence in Southern California.

Staff reporter Bethany Firnhaber can be reached at bfirnhaber@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 549-5225, ext. 235.

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