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Little Tokyo in Los Angeles to get apartment complex

Sares-Regis Group has acquired a 1.74-acre parking lot at 2nd and San Pedro streets in downtown L.A. to build the long-planned 240-unit apartment complex.

July 23, 2012|By Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times
  • The planned seven-story complex in Little Tokyo will include apartments, town houses, shops and a public parking garage. It will have a pool, fitness club and rooftop outdoor deck. Above, an artist's rendering of the project.
The planned seven-story complex in Little Tokyo will include apartments,… (Sares-Regis Group )

Construction of a long-planned 240-unit apartment complex in the Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles will move forward with a new developer.

Sares-Regis Group bought a 1.74-acre parking lot at 2nd and San Pedro streets where it will build a $100-million apartment community. The complex was planned years ago by the seller, Related Cos., which has developed other apartment buildings nearby.

Little Tokyo, near City Hall, is one of the oldest residential neighborhoods in the area. Additional apartments, restaurants and shops have arrived in the last decade.

"Little Tokyo has had shopping and housing for a long time," said Bill Montgomery, president of multifamily development for Sares-Regis. "We think it's a dynamic little enclave in the middle of downtown."

The Irvine company expects to start work in March on a seven-story complex that will include apartments, town houses, shops and a public parking garage. It will have a pool, fitness club and rooftop deck.

The developer and financial partner Pritzker Realty Group expect most tenants will be young professionals who work downtown and would like to be able to walk to their jobs. The average monthly rent will be about $2,200, Montgomery said.

Sares-Regis has a portfolio of more than 13,000 apartments that it owns or manages.

"We are in expansion mode," Montgomery said. "Nobody built much in the last four or five years."

Accounting firm RBZ to move its Brentwood offices

Los Angeles accounting firm RBZ, which has offices on Wilshire Boulevard in Brentwood, has agreed to move into larger quarters across the street.

RBZ will move from its longtime home, Landmark I at 11755 Wilshire Blvd., into 34,546 square feet in Landmark II at 11766 Wilshire Blvd., said real estate broker Michael P. Arnold of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.

RBZ has more than 100 employees, including 15 partners specializing in such fields as entertainment, international taxes and real estate. It will lease nearly two floors in the 17-story building completed in 1989. The space has already been outfitted for accounting firm use by a previous tenant, Arnold said.

Financial terms of the agreement with landlord Douglas Emmett Inc. were not disclosed, but property experts familiar with the Westside market valued it at about $16 million.

Buchanan Street Partners buys Rancho Cucamonga office building

Newport Beach real estate investment management firm Buchanan Street Partners has bought a Rancho Cucamonga office building for $10.6 million.

Buchanan bought a 75,000-square-foot building in HavenPark, a master-planned office campus, from Thackeray Partners of Dallas. The three-story building at 9680 Haven Ave. was completed in 2007 during the last real estate boom and is 89% leased.

"We are pleased to acquire this building at a significant discount to replacement costs," said Kimberly Stevenson, a Buchanan vice president.

The Inland Empire office market saw substantial construction during the mid-2000s but fell hard during the economic downturn. Average vacancy in Rancho Cucamonga was 24.6% in the second quarter, unchanged from a year earlier, according to real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield.

"The market is still a bit distressed so not as much capital is chasing product in the Inland Empire compared to the coastal markets," said Tim Ballard, president of Buchanan. "We thought we got a good value due to the lack of competition from institutional investors."

roger.vincent@latimes.com

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