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Developer is buying group of buildings in Pacific Palisades

Rick Caruso, developer of the Grove shopping center, is in escrow on a 2.8-acre group of commercial buildings in an area known as Pacific Palisades village.

December 17, 2012|By Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times
  • The Eleve Lofts & Skydeck apartment and retail complex in Glendale is shown in an artist's rendering. The $34-million project is designed to appeal to Generation Y renters looking to have a place without roommates.
The Eleve Lofts & Skydeck apartment and retail complex in Glendale… (AMF Development )

Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso is buying 10 retail properties on three parcels in the tony town center of Pacific Palisades, according to people who know about the deal.

The acquisition will give Caruso the opportunity to restyle a significant portion of the affluent neighborhood's commercial district in his vision.

Caruso, owner of the upscale Grove shopping center in Los Angeles, is in escrow on a 2.8-acre collection of commercial buildings on both sides of East Swarthmore Avenue and Sunset Boulevard known as Pacific Palisades village.

Terms of the purchase are not public, but local real estate experts value the pending sale at $40 million to $50 million. A representative of Caruso Affiliated declined to comment.

Several of the commercial buildings dating from the 1950s are unoccupied, and others have short-term leases offering the new owner "the ability to execute its vision for the property" and redevelop the site, according to marketing materials from broker CBRE Group Inc.

The current owner is the Wilson Family Trust, real estate data provider CoStar Group said.

Caruso also developed the Americana at Brand shopping and residential complex in Glendale. In September, he agreed to buy 48 acres in Carlsbad, where he is expected to build a large-scale retail and entertainment center.

Glendale apartment complex nears completion

An apartment complex with small units intended to appeal to young people eager to get away from roommates and parents is nearing completion in downtown Glendale.

The $34-million mixed-use project named Eleve Lofts & Skydeck is designed for the tastes and needs of Generation Y — people ages 20 to 34, said Alan Dibartolomeo, an executive at AMF Development.

Research by the Huntington Beach company found many young adults would prefer to live in a small place alone than in a larger space with a roommate, even if it costs more to do so.

AMF razed a former Circuit City electronics warehouse store at North Maryland Avenue and East Broadway in Glendale's urban shopping district to make way for Eleve. It will have three underground parking levels, shops and restaurants at street level and six stories of apartments with 208 units above the retail spaces.

The "micro" one-bedroom units will be about one-third smaller than average one-bedroom units at less than 400 square feet. There will also be "dual master" units with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

The roof "sky deck" is intended to be an open-air social space with cabanas, barbecues, fire pits, a dog park, media center, hot and cold spas, and a "poet's corner" that includes a piano.

Eleve will also have a fitness center and furnished business center with workstations.

"Our target audience is an environmentally conscious and technologically savvy generation made up of young renters who are delaying marriage and family in favor of careers," said Greg Parker, chief executive of AMF.

Rents are expected to range from $1,600 to $2,800 a month when the complex opens in early spring, the company said. Eleve is the prototype for similar complexes AMF hopes to build in other urban centers, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle.

Corona apartment property is sold

A gated 312-unit residential property in Corona called Parcwood Apartment Homes has been sold as demand for apartments in the Inland Empire grows, a real estate brokerage said.

Irvine apartment developer and manager Western National Group bought the garden-style complex at 1700 Via Pacifica from Essex Property Trust Inc., according to broker Jones Lang LaSalle. The new owners are expected to upgrade the 1980s-era property and raise rents.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but a real estate expert familiar with the property valued the deal at $43 million.

Parcwood has 26 two-story apartment buildings, a fitness center, movie theater, clubhouse, tennis courts, children's playground and business center.

The housing collapse and subsequent lull in construction has driven up demand for Inland Empire apartments over the last three years, said broker Javier Rivera of Jones Lang LaSalle. Apartment demand is expected to continue to grow for the next two years.

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