85.7 F
San Fernando
Thursday, Jun 1, 2023

L.A. Developer Has Fervor for Encino Project

Construction began late last month on a 50-unit upscale apartment building in a dense Encino neighborhood. Held Properties Inc. of Los Angeles is building a complex called White Magnolia, which will feature two-bedroom units with large floor plans, including some with dens. Apartments will range from about 1,100 to 1,300 square feet, and rents will start at $2,300 a month. Joe Held, the firm’s chief operating officer, said the project will cost about $17 million, excluding undisclosed land costs. “This looks like a market that’s underserved and we feel has a good potential for profit,” said Held. “All of the people who have been renting condos during the recession will need a place to go to.” Each unit will have stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, balconies and high ceilings. The complex will feature a fitness center, spa and outdoor garden area with a barbecue. Held acquired the 17720 Magnolia Blvd. site in October 2012 from Temple Ner Maarav, a Jewish synagogue that had been in Encino since the 1950s but left the property when it merged with another synagogue. Held, founded in 1946, is a developer of commercial and medical offices. Its portfolio includes the seven-story, 120,000-square-foot building at UCLA Medical Plaza. It also owns 1880 Century Park East, a 15-story, 314,000-square-foot office building. White Magnolia is its first multifamily development. “We decided it was time for us to diversify. This is the first of what we hope will be several apartment buildings,” Held said. “The market being as tight as it is on the Westside, we see more opportunity in other markets.” Fassberg Construction Co. of Encino is the contractor on the project. Construction is expected to take about 15 months, with the first units available in early 2015. Never-Ending Battle A community group that calls itself Sherman Oaks Residents for a Safe Environment has filed a lawsuit over Il Villaggio Toscano, a development that has struggled to break ground for 10 years. The group filed the suit in L.A. County Superior Court, naming the city of Los Angeles as the defendant for approving the 605,000-square-foot project by M. David Paul Associates, a Santa Monica developer. The group is seeking to halt construction and revoke the approval of its environmental impact report. The lawsuit alleges that the 325-unit project on Sepulveda Boulevard near Camarillo Street would “expose the project’s residents and guests, including children and the elderly, to a constant plume of dangerous levels of diesel,” among other harmful toxins. Paul Krueger, project development manager for M. David Paul, decried the lawsuit, stating that he was unaware of the identity of the group. “We find this to be very disappointing that after more than 10 years of choosing to engage the community, various city leaders and participating in a lengthy neighborhood council and city planning process that we find ourselves being thrust into a legal action by an association of persons that at no time identified themselves throughout the administrative process.” Silverstein Law Firm APC of Pasadena is representing the plaintiff. Attempts to contact the firm or homeowner group were unsuccessful. Development Opportunity A two-acre lot at 7718-7728 Lankershim Blvd., just north of Saticoy Street, sold late last month for about $3 million. The land sale may be the last piece of the puzzle for a North Hollywood apartment project. Acquiring it was an LLC headed by Peter Cohen, said Ziv Kozaski, vice president at the Encino office of NAI Capital Inc., which represented both the buyer and seller, Michael Lauer, in the sale. The lot is next to the 75-unit Encanto Apartments, which was acquired in 2011 by Fresno Capital Fund of Beverly Hills, a fund with which Cohen is affiliated, Kozaski said. And as part of the sale, Fresno got an adjacent three-acre lot. Now with combined empty lots totaling five acres, the owner plans to build an apartment building, Kozaski said. The Encanto Apartments will remain. “We had close to 10 offers from developers including KB Home. But in the end, it was the developer who owns the lot next door that bought it,” he said. Attempts to reach the buyer were unsuccessful. Michael Dixon, vice president at the Encino office of NAI, also represented both sides of the deal. Staff Reporter Elliot Golan can be reached at (818) 316-3123 or egolan@sfvbj.com

Featured Articles

Related Articles