89.3 F
San Fernando
Thursday, Feb 2, 2023
-Advertisement-

Moorpark Multifamily Given Multiple Looks

Plans to put a mix of single-family homes and condominiums on a large, untouched parcel on the west end of Moorpark could get back on track after a six-year battle with residents. Local equestrian property owners who want to maintain the area’s rural zoning designation have appeared repeatedly in public forums to object to various plans for multifamily development proposed by James Rasmussen, of Rasmussen Development Inc. in Calabasas. The Moorpark City Council has sent the developer back to the drawing board several times since 2009 to modify his plans, City Councilman David Pollack said. The most recent proposal was for 137 homes, down from an earlier plan for 271 houses, condos and apartment units. “It’s a particularly nettlesome property from a land-use point of view. To the south is an industrial-zoned parcel and to the north is horse property. We’re trying to figure out what’s the appropriate transitional use,” he said. Late last year, the Council voted to allow Rasmussen’s application for a zone change for the property to move forward. Now, the developer has two years to bring back revised plans. “It was a compromise,” Pollack said. “We essentially gave him leave to go ahead and submit an application proposing a medium-density project.” Sharon D. Noel, who has two horses and keeps bees on 5 acres adjacent to the property, is one of the neighbors who has fought the development. “When we moved here, we’d been squeezed out of Thousand Oaks after 22 years. We expected this area to retain the rural feel that we moved here for – we didn’t expect to have a high-density condo development next door,” she said. The Council’s decision to give Rasmussen another shot at at the multi-unit development was disappointing but not surprising to her. “The city got tired of the gridlock situation and having it come back and back. Our group of neighbors has gotten smaller over the years. He kind of wore us down,” Noel said. The property has a colorful history. Prior to his death in 2010, it was the site of an estate owned by Hay E. Baher, founder of Baher Chevrolet in Northridge. Baher, an immigrant from Singapore, survived the infamous prisoner of war camp depicted in the World War II movie “Bridge Over the River Kwai” and served as General Motors’ ambassador to Asia. David Bobardt, Moorpark’s community development director, said that Baher abandoned the property after a fire at the estate more than a decade ago and later let firefighters set it ablaze repeatedly for training purposes. All that’s left on the parcel now is a long driveway and the home’s crumbling foundation. The potential resurrection of the property comes at a time when housing development has picked up significantly in the city, with about 20 homes completed in 2013 to 162 homes last year. “We’re on track for 200 new homes this year,” Bobardt said. Rasmussen did not return repeated requests for comment. Strategic Deal A Burbank investor has shuffled his multifamily portfolio, trading up to more prestigious and costly properties. Anthony Mersola sold two buildings totaling 35 units in December and picked up three properties totaling 85 units in Burbank, North Hollywood and Sun Valley in January. The purchases, which totaled $13.4 million, are part of a long-term strategy, said Warren Berzack, a principal of Lee & Associates-LA North/Ventura who heads Berzack Property Investment Advisors, a multifamily specialty group at Lee. “We knew several years back that the end game would be to trade up into larger, more valuable assets, and we planned for it,” said Berzack, who represented both side of the transactions. In December, Mersola sold a 12-unit building at 7642 Vineland Ave., Sun Valley and a 23-unit building at 9 Laurel Canyon Blvd., North Hollywood for a combined $4.7 million. He had purchased the North Hollywood property two years earlier for $1.96 million and the Sun Valley site for $340,000 in 1997, according to real estate data firm CoStar Group Inc. The properties acquired are Strohm Apartments at 5636 Strohm Ave., North Hollywood, a 34-unit property that sold for $5.25 million; Ratner Apartments at 10930 Ratner St., Sun Valley, which consists of 30 units built in 1994 that sold for $4.6 million; and Hollywood Way Apartments, a 21-unit building close to Bob Hope Airport at 7601 N. Hollywood Way that sold for $3.6 million. Lee Principals Stephen Geiger, Jim Fisher, and Mike Smith worked as a team with Berzack on the deals, also representing both the buyers and sellers. Staff Reporter Karen E. Klein can be reached at (818) 316-3123 or kklein@sfvbj.com.

-Advertisement-

Featured Articles

-Advertisement-
-Advertisement-

Related Articles

-Advertisement-
-Advertisement-