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Landlords Hustle to Limit Hurricane Damage

Properties in the paths of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey owned by PS Business Parks Inc. in Glendale, single-family home landlord American Homes 4 Rent in Agoura Hills and self-storage developer Public Storage in Glendale, have suffered significant damage. Sixty-nine PS Business Parks’ office and industrial buildings – nearly 3.9 million square feet – in Miami, Boca Raton and Wellington, Fla. suffered power and internet service losses from Hurricane Irma, but were open and operating the day after the storm hit, the company announced in a statement. More than 570 tenants were affected in the three business parks, and cleanup and repairs were underway. To help those affected, PS Business Parks set up two hotlines. American Homes 4 Rent said of the 3,200 homes it owns and rents in the Houston market, “a small number” were damaged by Hurricane Harvey to the extent that occupying them might be hazardous and would need significant remediation. As a result, the company set up a resident aid station at its Houston office, assigned staff to each tenant displaced by the storm to help them find other housing and hired a local company to help renters apply and receive federal emergency aid and other assistance. Public Storage closed its 294 self-storage facilities in Florida during Hurricane Irma – more than 194,000 units – plus six properties in South Carolina and three in Georgia during and shortly after the storm to keep its customers and employees safe, the company said in a statement. “We anticipate that seven properties more severely impacted by Hurricane Harvey, covering approximately 500,000 net rentable square feet and 4,000 units, will be demolished and rebuilt to state-of the-art properties to withstand potential 500-year floods in the future,” Public Storage said in a statement. The company also set up email alerts and a hotline for customers. By Sept. 12, two days after Hurricane Irma hit, more than half of the Florida properties and five in South Carolina and Georgia were re-opened. However 130 facilities with almost 93,000 units were still closed due to power outages, needed repairs and property assessments. In Houston, Hurricane Harvey closed 116 Public Storage properties – 79,500 self-storage units. They were reopened by or before Sept. 10, the company said, but it kept a customer hotline operating. Loss and Gain Westlake Village’s Daly Group will start building its two mixed-use apartment buildings next quarter on the site of the former Lupe’s Mexican Restaurant on Thousand Oaks Boulevard across from Erbes Road. Two, three-story buildings totaling 36 apartments over ground-floor commercial space and tenant parking will replace the 69-year-old restaurant. The project already has city approval. Six units in the second building toward the back of the site will be live/work, said developer Vince Daly. They will have a lockable space separate from the commercial areas with living quarters above them. Rather than pursue retail tenants to occupy the 5,000-square-feet of commercial space at the complex, Daly wants restaurants. Outside he has planned seating and hopes to install a fountain. Between the two buildings there will be a piazza-like gathering area where Daly plans to incorporate a reference to Lupe’s restaurant, he said, and a wide, walkable area above the flood channel. At the center of the complex, surrounded by seating, will be an oak tree that was given to the city on its 25th anniversary. “We didn’t even ask to take it down,” Daly said. “It’s beautiful.” Oxnard Rising College Park Apartments, a 72-unit complex, is rising at 1375 E. Channel Islands Blvd. in Oxnard thanks to $13.5 million in construction financing secured by a Beverly Hills lending broker. Real estate capital advisory firm Quantum Capital Partners said it arranged the loan for Westlake Village developer California Commercial Investment Group Inc. with an 80 percent loan-to-cost financing. “To justify the high LTC (loan-to-cost), we conducted an in-depth study of the market and demonstrated to lenders that the market’s fundamentals and lack of supply, coupled with the sponsor’s long track record of success, warranted a loan with maximum proceeds at a very competitive rate,” said Quantum Vice President Max Mellman, who secured the financing with Managing Director Jonathan Hakahka. The complex is expected to finish in fall 2018. Staff Reporter Carol Lawrence can be reached at (818) 316-3123 or clawrence@sfvbj.com

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