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Will There Be More Like Murdock?

By now, you've heard of Tishman Speyer's acquisition of Murdock Plaza in Westwood. Mesa West Capital co-CEO Jeff Friedman leads the firm that closed a $105M loan to Tishman Speyer to acquire the building. So we're excited he's on the panel at our Bisnow SoCal Capital Markets Summit tomorrow at the Casa del Mar in Santa Monica, starting at 8 AM.

The financing includes funds to lease up the 40% occupied building. Mesa West's been very active on both coasts. Last week, the firm closed a $31M loan on an apartment building in New York's Upper West Side. While well-located, the Murdock building has low cash flow, Jeff notes; the financing allows Thor Residential to buy the property and put in significant money to raise the rents. Although there's a ton of capital in the market, he sees opportunity for larger deals that need certainty of execution and more flexible structuring. This past summer, Jeff and his family took to the mountains (including Aspen in August, above) "to get our kids out of West LA and into some good, clean living."

Pircher, Nichols & Meeks' Phil Nichols (with wife Sydney in Porto, Portugal), one of our two moderators, tells us that JV deals are the heart of his practice. He helped create a JV Challenge for students at UCLA (he's an alum) and Cal, but gives a shout-out to USC law professor George Lefcoe. Phil notes that George, who has taught at USC Law School for 50 years, has created "a sense of community among LA's real estate and legal professionals that has been wonderfully rewarding." He's traveled to a number of countries—among them Russia, Colombia, Australia, and most recently, Portugal—as part of George's Travelling Land Use Tour, learning about local issues. Outside of work, Phil spends one day a week taking care of his 18-month-old grandson, Phillip. Hear more at our Bisnow SoCal Capital Markets Summit tomorrow, starting at 8 AM.