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Developer Pedals Old Dodge Site for Housing

A local developer has plans to convert an old car dealership lot in Reseda into a $50 million mixed-use apartment building targeting mass transit users. Metric Holdings Inc. of Tarzana is in the early stages of proposing a 254-unit project where Reseda Boulevard meets the L.A. River – and about one mile from the Orange Line busway. Its at the site of a former Dodge dealership. The WaterMark, as the 125,000-square-foot project is dubbed, would be a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units with about 7,700-square-feet of commercial space. It would feature spaces for 287 bicycles. Rick Rosenberg, senior partner with Metric, said the six-story building could start construction as early as the spring, pending city approval. Rosenberg said costs could total about $50 million, and it should take about 18 months to complete. Metric picked up the 2.4-acre lot last summer from the Burns Family Exemption Trust of Santa Barbara for $5.9 million, according to real estate data firm CoStar Group Inc. “So far it has been a really good process,” Rosenberg said. “Reseda hasn’t received a lot of new, market-rate, Class A development in years. We think this is a phenomenal opportunity.” Plans for the apartment include some rather upscale construction, considering the neighborhood, which is dominated by older apartment buildings, affordable housing projects and senior apartments. In fact, new affordable housing opened across the street in August: the 77-unit Riverwalk at Reseda, which attracted 1,200 applicant families. With glass frontage and the southern portion of the property adjacent to the L.A. River, WaterMark would stand out. The building also plans amenities geared toward the eventual and much-talked about revitalization of the river, including open green space, private balconies and some upper-level terraces. Plans call for above-ground and one level of subterranean parking with spaces for 436 cars, in addition to the bicycle spaces. Jesus Henao, a senior vice president at the Encino office of NAI Capital Inc., who was not involved in the deal, said interest in the project would be high. “This will do very well. They’re on to something,” he said. “If they do something nice, he’ll get rents pretty close to Warner Center.” Until now, the wave of higher-end mixed-use construction has mostly targeted the Valley’s more prosperous and urban neighborhoods, such as Warner Center, Sherman Oaks and Studio City. Rosenberg plans to tweak pricing to reflect the area’s cheaper housing stock. “We want to be, to the extent possible, 20 percent lower than products in those other markets,” he said. “But with a very similar product.” The project is slated to go before the planning commission in November, and would require a change in zoning to allow for residential construction. L.A. Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, who represents the district, said in an email he’s excited by the prospect of new housing less than a mile from the Orange Line busway. “The proposal to bring a transit-oriented, mixed-use facility to the heart of Reseda along the Los Angeles River and just blocks from the Orange Line represents a potentially transformative opportunity for the community.” Glendale Deal One of the more architecturally appealing office buildings in Glendale has traded hands. The Osborn Building at 320 E. Harvard St., owned by the Osborn Family Trust, was purchased for $4.1 million by 320 Harvard LLC, or $468 a square foot, the fourth highest price per square foot in Glendale this year. “This is a very sexy, high-tech building. A lot of calls came in about this listing and the deal came together within a couple weeks,” said Shari Baner, senior vice president at the Encino office of NAI Capital, who represented the trust. The 8,762-square-foot building was designed by the Osborn Architects in 1997 and consists of three levels. It features wooden bowstring trusses, custom finished concrete masonry, copper and stainless steel detailing, tensile fabric canopies and custom lighting systems. Baner said it was purchased by a medical company with plans to use the building as its administrative headquarters. The buyer wants to remain anonymous, but CoStar lists the buyer of record as Khachatur C. Pogosyan, who is associated with several medical companies. Among them is KVP Pharmacy Inc., a compounding pharmacy in Burbank that is the listed owner of a nearby outpatient surgery center at 200 S. Louise St. Staff Reporter Elliot Golan can be reached at (818)316-3123 or egolan@sfvbj.com.

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