January 5, 2015

Chris Rising Just Couldn't Fight it

The last thing Chris Rising wanted to do with his life was get involved in real estate. He tried his hand at law, acting and even coaching football. But eventually, Chris caught the bug, and now he and his iconic father run one of the more exciting outfits in LA.

Chris started Rising Realty Partners with dad Nelson Rising in 2012, and the two have already made some splashy moves. The first two notable deals: a $200M buy from Bank of America, which included 1.75M SF of office mostly in the greater Valley region, and PacMutual, which the company bought for $60M with NY financial partner Mount Kellett Capital. Chris tells us the BofA buy, which was all old Countrywide Financial offices, was done mostly to turn around and sell assets, while funding major renovations on a couple of the buildings (including a coming mixed-use in Simi Valley).

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Chris (snapped playing chess with Richard Branson) started his real estate career with John Cushman, tying his legal background in as his chief of staff. Chris says it was a great entry point to the industry, and it was important for him to build his own name separate from his well-known dad, who was running Catellus Development at the time. Chris went on to start his own company, and in 2008, the two first worked together with LA developer Robert Maguire, who built much of DTLA's skyline, including many of the tallest buildings in the city. Chris says his dad got into real estate through politics. (Chris is actually named after Warren Christoper, Secretary of State under Bill Clinton.)

Chris tells us this is the last place he expected to be. After graduating from Duke (which he attended on a football scholarship), he returned to LA to teach history and coach the team at Loyola High School, his alma mater. That was followed by law school and a year of practice. And that was followed by one of those "What am I going to do with my life" moments, he says. So (naturally) he looked to Hollywood, exploring acting, writing and producing. That didn't stick either. He found the love for real estate in the creative process of a film producer. Take PacMutual, which Chris holds near and dear. 

Chris (snapped on Necker Island with wife Anna-Christine and children Annelise, John-Carl and Arianne) says the project is all about the future and catering to the younger demographic. He believes Millennials are making the rules in business, and offering more connectivity and the ability to work in open and mobile environments is crucial. Nelson and Chris gave us a tour of the project. The landmark DTLA property at 523 6th is three connected buildings that were built between 1908 and 1926. Rising Realty budgeted about $15M for a reno, which Chris says brought the old property up to the 21st century. It has since attracted some major tech and entertainment tenants, including the global HQ of Nasty Gal and Gifts.com. Chris tells us a spinoff of a major LA law firm is coming to the campus soon.

Chris says some of his best modernization work was at the Old Pasadena Plaza on Raymond Avenue, where the duo teamed up with Internet entrepreneur David Sacks to bring WiFi and modern office accoutrement to Old Town Pasadena. Chris says the next step for Rising Realty is diversification, including controlling its own money, so a financial partner doesn't need to be brought in for every major deal. Expect the firm to open up shop in S.F. this year. You can also hear Chris, who's speaking at our 5th Annual Los Angeles State of the Market next week. Sign up here.

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Report: Home Prices Stabilized in October Mergers Hit Seven-Year Peak in 2014

Kroenke to Build NFL Stadium

Stan Kroenke, owner of the St. Louis Rams, is planning to build a football stadium in Inglewood and has teamed up with Stockbridge Capital Group, which owns the 238-acre Hollywood Park site, to build an 80,000-seat stadium and performance venue, the LA Times reports. Stan bought the 60-acre parcel last year, which led many to speculate the NFL was coming back to LA. There has been talk of an NFL team returning for years, but it was heightened just a few months ago when the league said it intended to get a team moved.


Other flirtations include Anschutz Entertainment, which has pitched its Farmers Field adjacent to its Staples Center. The company brought in big architectural guns Gensler on the design. And just last month, there was talk of Carson as a potential landing spot, where league officials were reportedly checking out the 172-acre Victoria Park near the intersection of the 405 and 110. In addition, LA's wealthiest real estate mogul Ed Roski (below) has approval for a stadium in City of Industry. Anschutz also has city approval, but has not made any deals with an NFL team.

Most of the talk surrounding team relocation has hovered around Stan's Rams, who have been unable to negotiate stadium renovations with St. Louis. Other teams include the former hometown favorite Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers, which both play in old and beat-up stadiums. The city has been in support of the move since Stan bought the land.

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WiFi and Cell Service for Train Tunnels

Soon people can tool Facebook and annoy you with personal conversations on the train. Metro next week will begin work toward offering WiFi and cell service on the Red and Purple lines between Union Station and 7th, reports Curbed. A memo from Metro says the service should be up by May, with phone service in August. (That gives you eight months to buy noise-cancelling headphones.) The second phase of the project would include MacArthur Park, Wilshire/Western and Vermont/Sunset. The contractor for the project is InSite.


174k SF Industrial Trades

15050 Shoemaker Ave in Sante Fe Springs traded hands earlier this week. CBRE vice chairman Barbara Emmons (center, snapped at our Power Women event) repped both buyer American Realty Partners and seller Lincoln. Barbara says the Mid-County market is nearing its lowest supply level in six years, pushing demand. The 174k SF building is fully leased to a number of tenants, including JB Hunt Transport, a Fortune 500 company.

Units at the building range from about 14k SF to 50k SF. The building features 24-foot clearance, 40 dock-high loading doors and about 120 truck courts. CB vice chairman Darla Longo, VP Rebecca Perlmutter Finkel and SVP Laird Perkins also repped both sides.

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New deals for the New Year? Send news to Elliot Golan, elliot.golan@bisnow.com