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August 20, 2014
Why Affordable Housing Isn't Dead Yet
It's been several years since redevelopment agencies died a painful death in California, with dire ramifications, especially for affordable housing. Now the last few projects to be built with redevelopment funds in the LA area are coming to fruition.
Nonprofit developer Abode Communities held a ribbon-cutting for one of these affordable communities last week, Riverwalk at Reseda. President Robin Hughes (with Revitalize Reseda's Nancy Sweeney and LA City Councilman Bob Blumenfield) tells us the project was an "enforceable commitment" when LA's CRA dissolved, with an agreement in place for the project to move forward and receive funding. But as the head of one of SoCal's oldest affordable housing providers, she says the loss of redevelopment and subsequent reduction in federal funding for affordable housing continues to beset disadvantaged communities.
As proof of the unmet demand for high-quality affordable housing, she notes more than 1,200 families applied for Riverwalk's 77 units. Abode also serves as the architect of record on its projects. Riverwalk's onsite amenities include a rose garden with a seating area, and a central landscaped courtyard. The project, which is aiming for LEED Gold certification, is located in an area formerly marked by aging buildings, vacant lots, and gang activity at the neighboring Reseda Park and LA River.
Bob (with Robin and Paul Hastings partner and Abode board director Ken Krug) praised the developer for its efforts in sustainable development and community transformation. Besides CRA/LA dollars, Riverwalk's funding sources included Abode Community Housing Fund, California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, City of LA Housing & Community Investment Department, and Enterprise Community Loan Fund. US Bank provided a credit line and tax credit equity. Abode has more than 1,100 units in its pipeline to be produced or rehabbed by year-end 2019.
Old Hollywood Building Gets a Facelift
CGI doesn't always stand for computer-generated imagery—even in Hollywood, where LA-based CGI Strategies acquired Villa Carlotta, a 50-unit apartment building in Hollywood's Franklin Village submarket. CEO Gidi Cohen and principal Adrian Goldstein say the historic building has nearly 100 years of Hollywood charm and is irreplaceable. They're launching a capital improvement program to restore the building to its former glory. (Or in Hollywood terms, a nip and a tuck.)
The building's been untouched for the past 50 years. While the planned renovation focusing on unit interiors and common areas will keep the exterior intact, the new owners are considering adding awnings, which the Carlotta sported in some of its earliest pics. Back in Hollywood's heyday, Villa Carlotta was home to the likes of Edward G. Robinson, David O. Selznick, Marion Davies, and Louella Parsons. Silent film producer Thomas Ince's widow built the Carlotta in 1926 as an apartment house for Hollywood VIPs. (Besides working in the movies, name-dropping was the second biggest activity.)
The property was named an LA Historic Cultural Monument in 1986. The building's 1,500 SF lobby features hand-painted coffered ceilings and mahogany woodwork. CGI plans to reposition the property as luxury rentals, but a number of furnished, extended-stay apartments catering to entertainment and tech execs in Hollywood on business will be offered, too. New amenities will include a rooftop lounge with views of the Hollywood sign. Marcus & Millichap repped both sides.
Wilshire Honors Scholar
Wilshire Finance Partners awarded a $2,500 scholarship to USC student Rodney Savannah in a program that recognizes and benefits underprivileged yet talented and motivated city youth. CEO Don Pelgrim (right, with Rodney and VP of investment sales Andrew Lucas) tells us Rodney is carrying a full load as a junior in pre-med while also supporting his mom and sister. He was selected with the help of the LA County Medical Association and South Central Scholars, an org established under Children's Hospital LA's charitable umbrella. South Central Scholars falls under a Latino and African American high school internship program that works with the hospital, USC, and other programs, Don tells us. Wilshire currently has two real estate funds underway.
Join Us for Bisnow's Industrial Real Estate Summit
Industrial is one of the strongest real estate markets here and shows no signs of slowing, so we're thrilled to be holding our fourth-annual SoCal Industrial Real Estate Summiton Sept. 11 at the JW Marriott at LA LIVE. Our speakers will include Panattoni's Mark Payne, Prologis' Kim Snyder, Invesco's Peter Cassiano, KTR Capital Partners' Brian Gagne, and more. Plenty of coffee and networking, too. Sign up here.
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Peter Linneman, Wharton's real estate program founder and chairman, shares his extensive industry knowledge in these five bestselling instructional videos, covering everything from asset classes to valuation. Now you can buy the entire series at a great discount for yourself or incorporate them into your real estate training program (email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on group licenses). Individual investors can also benefit from fresh insights and new approaches. The lessons cover a lot of ground, but are easy to digest and can be watched anytime and anywhere.
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Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Real Estate But Were Afraid To Ask
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