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Luxury condo tower opens near L.A. Country Club

Emaar Properties developed the 22-story Beverly West tower at Wilshire Boulevard and Comstock Avenue. Prices start at $1.5 million.

October 22, 2012|By Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times
  • The building at 1200 Club View Drive was designed by Los Angeles architect Richard Keating, whose projects include the Gas Company Tower office building in downtown Los Angeles and numerous residential high-rises. Above, the master bathroom in a unit at Beverly West.
The building at 1200 Club View Drive was designed by Los Angeles architect… (Mel Melcon, Los Angeles…)

A long-awaited luxury condominium tower developed by giant United Arab Emirates real estate company Emaar Properties has opened near the Los Angeles Country Club.

Emaar Properties bought the 22-story Beverly West tower at Wilshire Boulevard and Comstock Avenue for $65 million in 2007 while it was under construction by a previous developer. The housing market crashed soon after in the economic downturn.

Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar, kept the property off the market until earlier this year, said Dario De Luca, president of the company's Los Angeles operations. One of the Beverly West's 35 units was sold in March for $5 million.

Prices for the remaining units range from $1.5 million to $22.4 million.

The building at 1200 Club View Drive was designed by Los Angeles architect Richard Keating, whose projects include the Gas Company Tower office building in downtown Los Angeles and numerous residential high-rises.

The Beverly West is intended to have a "timeless" look, Keating said.

"Our city is one of many images, architectural styles and periods, so it has been our desire to seek an architecture that remains quiet from a standpoint of form, and achieves its visual richness through detailing, materials and the play of light across the texture of the building."

Beverly West cost more than $325 million to build, Emaar Properties said. The company also developed the world's tallest building, the more-than-160-story Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

There is a small but potent demand for ultra luxury condos in the region, said Stuart Gabriel, director of the Ziman Center for Real Estate at UCLA. Prospective owners are wealthy enough not to feel buffeted by the economy and often own multiple homes.

"Like New York, like Tokyo, like London, like Paris, Los Angeles is an international superstar city," he said. "There will be a demand among buyers that come from all over the world for a very high-end project."

Apartment complex planned near Paramount Studios

An 85-unit apartment complex atop shops and restaurants will be built near the main entrance to Paramount Studios by California Landmark Group.

The project called the LC will be on Melrose Avenue across from the north end of Larchmont Boulevard. California Landmark expects to start work as soon as March and complete the $40-million project by January 2015.

The price tag includes the acquisition of a 55,000-square-foot vacant lot split by an alley. The project will be built above the alley, which will remain in use, said Ken Kahan, chief executive of Westwood-based California Landmark.

Likely tenants are people who work at Paramount or elsewhere in the entertainment industry, Kahan said. Rents will range from $2,000 to $3,500 a month.

Larchmont, a popular neighborhood shopping street, "is kind of sleepy north of Third Street," he said. "This will reinvigorate the north end of Larchmont."

The name LC comes from Larchmont Boulevard and Camerford Avenue, the northern boundary of the project.

Commercial real estate rebound to continue, report says

The country's commercial real estate recovery will advance in 2013 with modest gains in leasing, rents and sales prices, industry leaders said in a report.

Recent job creation should be enough to increase absorption and push down vacancy rates in the office, industrial and retail sectors. Despite being on a slower-than-normal real estate recovery track, U.S. property sectors and markets have "noticeably" better prospects compared with last year, the report said.

Developers, architects, brokers, lenders and other commercial real estate professionals were surveyed for the annual Emerging Trends in Real Estate report released by the industry think tank Urban Land Institute and accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"What these findings suggest is that, in general, the industry is moving forward bit by bit," said Stephen Blank, a senior fellow at the institute. "Nothing indicates a quick turnaround for commercial real estate, but it is improving.

Robust demand for apartments — the strongest real estate class — should continue even as construction of new units ramps up, the report said.

roger.vincent@latimes.com

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