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This Week's LA Deal Sheet

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Recently, Downtown Center Business Improvement District COO Suzanne Holley did some trash-talking with Bisnow—regarding the DTLA org's installation of new high-tech trash bins, that is. The so-called Big Belly bins are equipped with solar-powered GPS and usage meters for remote waste management.

Suzanne says 18 of the hard-working receptacles were installed on the busy Seventh Street Corridor in a pilot program, with plans to expand it throughout the 65-block CBD. Suzanne oversees the DCBID's street cleaning operations; she says existing bins installed in 2000 were "a little tired." In addition, they were open, unsightly, and some would overflow, particularly in high-traffic locations like the Metro station. Because the receptacles have a greater capacity than the existing bins, they won't need to be emptied as often. (One of them has a solar-powered trash compactor, allowing it to hold nearly five times as much waste).

Each bin signals the DCBID's service center (640 S Olive) when it's two-thirds full. The way it's usually been done, Suzanne notes, is the org's street sweepers bag the trash and leave it on the sidewalk for roving trash trucks to pick up as they happen along, creating an eyesore. The high-tech bins cost considerably more than the conventional ones—but fewer of them will be needed on the streets. (The 65-block area currently boasts about 250 bins.) Having a clean and safe downtown is important to Suzanne, and not just because she worked in property management (with MPG Office Trust) before joining the DCBID in October 2013—she was born right in DTLA at California Hospital.


Invesco Real Estate snapped up the recently completed Phase 2 of Gateway Towne Center, a regional shopping center in Compton, from developer Prism Realty Corp. The second phase features Marshall’s, PetSmart, ULTA Cosmetics, Anna’s Linens, Dollar Tree, El Pollo Loco, Starbucks and Chipotle. Colliers' Michelle Schierberl and Donald Ellis repped the seller. Despite initial challenges in attracting national tenants due to the city's reputation as economically disadvantaged, Prism’s Eric Eklund says Gateway Towne Center (Alameda Street and Artesia Boulevard) ranks consistently in the top tier of sales generators for the national retailers located there. It's now the dominant regional center in South LA, serving 3 million people within a 10-mile trade area with 98% occupancy since opening in 2008. First phase anchors include Target, Home Depot, Staples, Best Buy and 24-hour Fitness.


Northstar Group Properties bought a 7,800 SF industrial building in El Segundo (1121 E. El Segundo Blvd) for $2.7M to convert into office space. Lee & Associates' Craig Poropat repped seller Chrisfield Properties, while JLL's Chris Strickfaden repped the buyer.


A 7,194 SF strip center in Fontana (17218 Foothill Blvd) changed hands for just under $2.7M or $368/SF cash. The property is shadow-anchored by Brunswick Foothill Bowling Center and directly across from a Walmart-anchored retail center. Progressive Real Estate Partners' Brad Umansky, Frank Vora and Greg Bedell repped the seller, a private trust. VRE Commercial's Janet Valentin repped the buyer, a private investor based in Riverside.


CGI Technologies and Solutions signed a five-year lease for 9,272 SF in Two California Plaza (350 S Grand) in DTLA. CBRE's Todd Doney, John Zanetos, Rob Waller, Chris Penrose and Phillip Ruhl repped the landlord, CIM. Mohr Partners' Mark Urbanowicz repped the tenant, which is relocating and expanding from 707 Wilshire Blvd. CGI is the world's fifth-largest independent IT and business process services firm, with 68,000 employees in offices and delivery centers in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific.


Century Housing's 27-acre Villages at Cabrillo complex in West Long Beach received a $5M social impact investment from the Calvert Foundation, a Bethesda, MD-based Community Development Financial Institution. Developed on a former Navy housing site tied to the Long Beach Shipyards, the Villages has been redeveloped over the past 17 years into a supportive housing community that is home to more than 1,000 residents on any given night, including more than 550 veterans. The community's new Cabrillo Gateway project will add 80 permanent affordable homes and a federally qualified health clinic when completed this summer.


Meta Housing Corp broke ground on its fifth arts-focused affordable housing complex: the $32M, 70-unit Glendale Arts Colony (121 N Kenwood St). The apartment community will feature a sculpture garden, digital media lab, and “idea lab” where residents can participate in various creative activities, as well as a series of outdoor artist work decks. The project, which is being built to LEED Silver standards, is a partnership between Meta, the City of Glendale, the YMCA of Glendale and Western Community Housing Inc. The site is being developed as part of the existing 2.2-acre YMCA campus. Bank of America, the City of Glendale and Greystone Servicing Corp provided financing.


The Canyon Catalyst Fund and Paragon Commercial Group began a major repositioning of the Rancho Las Palmas Shopping Center in Rancho Mirage. The partnership bought the center (Highway 111 and Bob Hope Drive) in March after five years of increasing vacancy, brought on by the departure of the property's anchor tenant. Paragon inked new anchor tenant leases for a 48k SF Hobby Lobby and a 30k SF Stein Mart, as well as a freestanding CVS Drug Store (relocating from an inline suite). The remodel will include enhanced architecture and landscaping, improved pedestrian connectivity and energy-efficient lighting.


Former US Bank VP Albert Kim joined CBRE Capital Markets’ business lending team as a VP in the DTLA office. The business lending unit originates small balance owner-occupied SBA loans and private capital (non-owner occupied) real estate financings.


Joseph Didone joined Bernards as a VP, responsible for providing executive-level oversight for complex construction projects. The 27-year veteran builder has managed a number of noteworthy projects, including renovation of the Hollywood Bowl Museum, construction of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels for the LA Archdiocese, and the Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cell Research at USC.


Savills Studley promoted three of its LA execs: Corey Davidson, a principal with the firm’s Corporate Services Group, was named an executive managing director. Laura Whelan, who leads the firm's Project Management Group in LA, was promoted to corporate managing director. Matt Abney, a Project Management Group member in DTLA, was named director, project management.