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The LA Deal Sheet

Carol Schatz, the influential founding president and CEO of the Los Angeles Downtown Center Business Improvement District, is retiring at the end of the month.

Schatz, 71, will continue to have a role within the organization as president emeritus and as a goodwill ambassador for downtown Los Angeles. 

Carol Schatz

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Suzanne Holley will succeed Schatz as president and CEO. Senior Vice President and Director of Economic Development Nick Griffin has been promoted to executive director.

“It’s been a great privilege to have played a central role in planning and leading Downtown LA’s Renaissance,” Schatz said in a news release. “The DCBID was a key factor in the Downtown Renaissance and in bringing in more than $30B in new investment to DTLA.”

Schatz told Bisnow it was bittersweet to leave an organization she helped build.

“I’ve been a workaholic my whole life,” Schatz said. “But you just know when it is time to go.”

Schatz was the president of the nonprofit Central City Association, which advocates issues on behalf of local downtown businesses, when she founded the DCBID in 1998. Schatz worked both jobs until her retirement from the Central City Association in 2016.

She remembers when downtown LA was a ghost town, a neglected and blighted area where most people couldn’t walk safely and comfortably at night and office workers came and immediately went home to the suburbs after their workday.

Schatz said she knew that for Los Angeles to be considered a great city it needed a thriving downtown landscape.

“You cannot define a city by a beach and two theme parks,” Schatz said. “You need a thriving downtown like New York or Philadelphia and other cities.”

During her tenure, Schatz convinced local businesses to tax themselves to create DCBID, which helped clean up, promote and provide economic development to the area.

She advocated for the city to pass the adaptive reuse ordinance, which turned vacant and blighted office buildings into thriving mixed-use and residential projects. 

According to the DCBID, since 1999, 30,000 new units of housing have been built, 10,000 units are under construction and an additional 34,000 units of housing have been proposed. 

The downtown population since the founding of DCBID has grown from about 18,000 to 72,000. 

Though she is retiring from DCBID, Schatz will continue to be involved in a limited capacity. She said Holley and Griffin are going to do a great job.

“Downtown has an enormously great future,” Schatz said. “It will continue to experience great growth because of the foundations that we have laid.”

Dole building in Westlake Village


In an off-market transaction, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has acquired the Dole building in Westlake Village from the Dole Food Co. for $50M. The 168K SF, three-story property at One Dole Drive sits on more than 10 acres. The property is currently Dole Food’s headquarters. Dole will continue to lease a portion of the building. CBRE’s Todd Tydlaska, Sean Sullivan, Mike Longo, Tom Dwyer and Michael Slater represented the seller.


A private investor has purchased a 112-unit hotel in the Stevenson Ranch neighborhood of Santa Clarita from a private seller for an undisclosed price. The LaQuinta Inn & Suites Santa Clarita – Valencia at 25201 The Old Road features 112 guestrooms, including 28 suites and has completed a multimillion-dollar renovation. Atlas Hospitality Group’s Oliver L. Shah and Robert J. Feist represented the seller.


Westcore Properties has acquired a 114,556 SF industrial building in Moorpark from Marcus Adams Capital for $13.8M. The property at 6100 Condor Drive sits on nearly 5 acres and is occupied by two tenants. Newmark Knight Frank’s Ryan Plummer and Bret Hardy represented Marcus Adams Capital. Westcore represented itself.


Sterling Organization has acquired Margarita Plaza, a grocery-anchored shopping center in Huntington Park from a group of private investors for $23.75M. Built in 1989, the 76,800 SF shopping center at the northeast corner of Santa Fe and East Florence avenues is anchored by a 43,350 SF Food 4 Less and is 93% occupied.

Giovanni Cosmetics headquarters at 2064 East University Drive in Compton


Traffic Management Inc. has signed a lease with an undisclosed landlord to occupy a 43,500 SF office building in Long Beach. Traffic Management will relocate from its current location in Signal Hill to occupy two buildings at 4900 and 4910 Airport Plaza Drive. First Team Real Estate’s Lauren J. Coombs represented the tenant. Newmark Knight Frank's James Estrada and George Thomson represented the landlord. 


Giovanni Cosmetics has signed a five-year $2.5M lease renewal with APG Voctoria LLC to occupy 45K SF of industrial space in Compton. The property is at 2064 East University Drive. The Saywitz Co.’s Robert Ritschel represented the tenant.


EVOX Productions has signed a five-year, $2M lease with Rexford Industrial Realty to occupy 36K SF of office space in Rancho Dominguez. The property is at 2363 East Pacifica Place. The Saywitz Co.’s Andrew Herron represented EVOX. CBRE’s John Schumacher represented the landlord.


On behalf of Third Art Holdings, Quantum Capital Partners has arranged $16M in long-term first mortgage debt to recapitalize a new 27K SF retail center in the Arts District neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles. The retail property at 833 East Third St. houses several tenants including Over the Influence, H. Lorenzon, Salt and Straw and Salt Bae. Deutsche Bank originated the 10-year CMBS loan.

JLL Senior Managing Director John Strauss


FMB Development will break ground on a seven-unit, 9,100 SF condominium development in West Hollywood. Designed by architect Dean Larkin, the project at 1013 Genesee Ave. will showcase the art and history of West Hollywood through artwork designed by local artist Elena Manferdini. The property will feature large units, private car garages and private balconies.


JLL has promoted Senior Managing Director John Strauss to co-lead Americas Hotel Capital Markets with fellow Senior Managing Director Jeffrey Davis. Strauss and Davis will be responsible for overseeing investment sales and debt and equity placement across the Americas. Davis is based in New York. Strauss is based in Los Angeles. Strauss has been with JLL for 20 years.


Savills Studley has appointed Jonti Bacharach as corporate managing director and as the California lead for the firm’s Occupier Services Group. Bacharach will be responsible for partnering with the company’s regional advisers in servicing complex national and global real estate portfolios. Bacharach joined Savills Studley in 2017 as part of the firm’s acquisition of Cresa Orange County.