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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 25, 2014 | By Adolfo Flores
The mayor of Santa Ana's vote in favor of offering a local business an exclusive city contract after swapping a piece of property with the owner is troubling, said a UC San Diego professor. "It does raise the question about whether there was a quid pro quo," said political science professor Steven Erie. "It makes you wonder whether the swap predisposed or set him up to support the later vote. " As part of his real estate transaction, Mayor Miguel Pulido also purchased a Westminster home from the auto parts business owner for about $230,000 below fair market value, according to property records.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 24, 2014 | By Adolfo Flores
Santa Ana's longtime mayor is under investigation for his relationship with an auto parts business owner, to whom the mayor sold a piece of downtown property and then voted in favor of giving the auto parts store an exclusive city contract. As part of his real estate transaction, Mayor Miguel Pulido also purchased a Westminster home from the auto parts business owner for about $230,000 below fair market value, according to property records. Pulido later sold the home for a $197,000 profit.
BUSINESS
February 23, 2014 | By Lew Sichelman
House-hunters can find homes on their own. So can renters who are not quite ready to take the leap into homeownership. But do you really want to go it alone? Why not let an agent do the legwork for you? Hiring an agent to help with your search for a rental apartment may be a big-city phenomenon, especially in places like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. But real estate agents everywhere can help renters find suitable accommodations just as they help buyers find houses. And perhaps more importantly, they can make the search much easier.
BUSINESS
February 6, 2014 | By Roger Vincent
Broadway, the sparkling entertainment district of mid-20th-century Los Angeles, had a long fall. As residents moved to the suburbs, opulent movie palaces dating to the early days of the film industry closed their doors. Upscale shops were closed, and department stores decamped for newer neighborhoods in the 1970s and 1980s. Businesses catering primarily to Latino immigrants kept the sidewalks active, but most buildings fell empty above the first floor. Much of downtown has enjoyed a renaissance since 2000.
BUSINESS
February 5, 2014 | By Roger Vincent
CBRE Group Inc., the world's largest commercial real estate brokerage, reported an 11% jump in revenue during the fourth quarter, led in part by thriving property markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Profit was down from the same period in 2012, however, as the Los Angeles company wrote down $106.6 million primarily on the decreased value of its investment pools in Europe Southern California's housing recovery Fourth-quarter net income was $114.6 million, or 34 cents a share, down from $173 million, or 53 cents, a year earlier.
BUSINESS
February 1, 2014 | By Lauren Beale
"Twilight" film series vampire Robert Pattinson found a warm body to pay $6.375 million for his Los Feliz home. Jim Parsons of "The Big Bang Theory" is the new owner. The 1922 Spanish Colonial-style house has a formal entry, a library/study, a den, three bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and 4,026 square feet of space in two stories. Antiqued tile and stone, hand-carved wood and stenciled ceilings maintain a vintage vibe. The 1.5-acre sloping lot, enclosed by walls, features a lagoon-style swimming pool, waterfalls and fountains.
BUSINESS
January 21, 2014 | By Andrea Chang
BlackBerry plans to sell the majority of its commercial real estate portfolio in Canada to bolster its financial position. The Canadian company said Tuesday that the real estate holdings, comprising more than 3 million square feet of space, would be sold through a combination of sale-leaseback and vacant asset sales. PHOTOS: Top 10 tech fails of 2013 Despite the sales, BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen said the company "remained committed to being headquartered in Waterloo and having a strong presence in Canada.
HOME & GARDEN
January 17, 2014 | By Jeff Spurrier
Spring-like weather hasn't brought smiles at the Venice Community Garden. The locals who tend the garden's 54 plots recently learned that they have until the end of the month to clear out. With real estate prices rising, gardeners at the privately owned site learned more than a year ago that the property would go on the market someday. "But we were thinking in 10 years," said master gardener Kip Wood, one of the people who founded the community garden about four years ago. The number of community gardens in the Los Angeles area has grown to more than 100. The wave of popularity is so strong that leaders of the Los Angeles Community Garden Council have lost track of an exact count.
BUSINESS
January 12, 2014 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - The federal government has a real estate question for consumers who have bought or refinanced homes that's certain to generate more than an earful: Were there any problems when you went to close the deal? Any last-minute glitches or surprises that delayed the settlement, required unexpected negotiations or, worst of all, blew up the sale or refinancing? Did you get your settlement sheet in advance so that you could review the documents intelligently? Were there any errors or discrepancies that popped up - charges that were considerably higher than you had expected, loan-related fees or an interest rate that differed from what you thought you had signed up for?
BUSINESS
January 8, 2014 | By Roger Vincent
A 1970s-era office building in the Westlake neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles that houses a branch of the L.A. Superior Court has sold for $50 million to prominent local real estate investor Jamison Services Inc. Jamison, one of the largest office landlords in Southern California, bought the building at 600 S. Commonwealth Ave. from a family trust managed by Comerica Bank. The 19-story building overlooking Lafayette Park in the Westlake neighborhood was completed in 1971 to house the Los Angeles offices of CNA Financial Corp., a Chicago insurance firm.
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