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Thursday, Jan 26, 2023

Downtown Toyota Site Sold for $30M

Parking lot developer L&R Group, operator of Wally Park and Joe’s Auto Parks, has paid $30 million for a 1.5-acre site at Figueroa Street and Venice Boulevard. The roughly 60,000-square-foot site, just north of the 10 freeway and two blocks from the Staples Center, is home to the Toyota of Downtown L.A. dealership.

Adam Tischer, the Colliers International broker representing the buyer, hinted that while L&R intended to build a parking facility at the location, it could be in play as a larger development site.

Parking has become scarcer in South Park, particularly as developers of luxury residential towers have snatched up parking lots. That has created an opportunity for L&R, owner of more than 80 downtown parking lots. Among the options is developing the Toyota site as a multi-level parking lot anchored by ground-floor retail.

“Day in and day out, parking lots are closed, taking valuable parking capacity offline in downtown L.A.,” said Tischer. “L&R has been anticipating this.”

The company recently developed a multilevel lot on Eighth Street, designed to hold about 700 cars and offer about 15,000 square feet of retail space. Tischer said the commercial portion of the property was fully leased within six months of opening.

But L&R could also flip the property. “One might imagine that interest from developers might lead to another sale, sooner than expected,” said Tischer. “Demand remains strong, and it’s a unique piece.”

There would be a few hurdles to clear, however, if a larger project were planned. Tom Lagos, the Colliers broker representing sellers George and Carole McCall, said the site’s zoning is more restrictive than that of the stretch of Figueroa a block north, on the other side of Pico Boulevard. There, towers are rising with more than 40 stories.

“It was a preemptive move from the part of the buyer. They came in with a strong offer and we negotiated from there,” he said.

The McCalls had operated the Toyota dealership for decades before selling it to Downtown L.A. Auto Group in 2012, according to Lagos. The family then kept the property while leasing the site.

Darryl Holter, chief executive of Shammas Group, owner of Downtown L.A. Auto Group, said the Toyota dealership would relocate a few blocks away to Figueroa Street and Washington Boulevard.


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