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This Week's LA Deal Sheet

Last week, Universe Holdings founder and CEO Henry Manoucheri and his wife, Lisa, were honored at a gala banquet for their efforts to build a permanent home for Yeshivat Ohr Chanoch. The Jewish Orthodox boys' high school will occupy a 5k SF building in the Pico-Robertson area. As chairman of the school's building committee, Henry donated his real estate expertise to find and negotiate the $3M acquisition, which will close in mid-March. The school was established in 2011—one of about 20 located throughout the US—and has been renting space in a synagogue where it serves 30 students. Classes at the new facility, which will enable the school to increase enrollment, will begin in September following several months of construction to renovate the office building. The property will be named after his late father, Said Manoucheri. Henry's also advising on the financing and reno, as well as fundraising assistance.

But he's not done there. Universe recently purchased The Sycamores, a 50-unit apartment building in Inglewood (875 Victor Ave) for $9M. The city's an up-and-coming area that's been below the radar, but with projects like the Hollywood Park redevelopment and the revitalization of The Forum—not to mention the Rams possibly coming to town—he sees Inglewood gentrifying in the same way as Culver City. It's hard for most people to see that today, he acknowledges. "It just takes some imagination."

Henry was a top apartment broker with Marcus & Millichap before founding Universe in 1994. The company's set to launch its first value-add multifamily fund, raising $50M of capital from family offices and high-net-worth investors that it plans to leverage into $200M to $300M worth of properties. Right now, Universe owns and manages several thousand apartment units throughout California. A year ago, it entered the hospitality market with the purchase of a beachfront vacation rental property in Carlsbad offering unobstructed ocean views.


Wood Partners sold the 22-story, 290-unit 8th+Hope, one of the first post-recession high-rise apartment buildings to be built and listed for sale in DTLA, to Essex Property Trust for $200M. The luxury tower includes 4,300 SF of ground-floor retail space and scores 96 out of 100 on The property, which opened last summer, is 55% leased and expected to reach stabilized occupancy by Q3. Amenities include a 10k SF rooftop deck and club room with retractable glass walls that lead to an outdoor social/dining area, spa, fire pit and garden retreat.


The Berenzweig Trust sold a DTLA property and purchased a replacement property in a pair of deals valued at a total of $21M. First, Berenzweig sold a half-acre development site (1045-1057 S Olive St) occupied by its showroom packaging material wholesale business, Acme Display, to South Florida residential developer Crescent Heights for $11.5M. It then bought the former HQ of UNI Hosiery (3829 S Broadway) for $9.5M. Lee & Associates Central LA's Anita Artukovich repped Berenzweig in both deals, as well as Crescent Heights.


Ezralow Co bought a 178-unit apartment community in Agoura Hills (30856 Agoura Rd) for more than $53M. Formerly known as Archstone Agoura Hills, the value-add property will be rebranded as Lexington Apartment Homes and will undergo upgrades to the interiors and common areas. The garden-style complex was built in 1986 and consists of one- and two-bedroom units in 11 two-story buildings on 15 acres. Berkadia's Dean Zander, Vince Norris and Spencer Scott repped the seller.


A JV of BLVD Partners LLC and Arris Investments bought a 25k SF mixed-use building in Venice Beach (Lincoln Boulevard at Rose Avenue) for $11.5M. The two-story building is 30% leased; the new owners plan to make interior and exterior architectural improvements that will appeal to creative retail and office tenants. Creative office specialists Industry Partners will handle the leasing. The acquisition included an adjacent 55-stall surface parking lot, according to Sklar Kirsh's Andrew Kirsh, who led the legal team that advised the buyer on the purchase and acquisition financing. CBRE's Jeff Pion repped the buyers as well as the seller, a private partnership. Acquisition financing was provided by Latitude Real Estate Investors.


American Realty Advisors acquired the Shoemaker Distribution Center, a 175k SF Class-A industrial warehouse in Santa Fe Springs (15050-15066 Shoemaker Ave), from a Lincoln Property affiliate. The property is 100% leased; tenants include the Fortune 500's J.B. Hunt Transport Services, as well as Altaquip LLC, Pacific Diving Academy USA, Spartech and Sysonic USA. According to chairman Stanley Iezman, the Santa Fe Springs market boasted 2% vacancy at year-end and robust activity in the 10k to 60k SF range, making the asset well-positioned for long-term growth. CBRE's Barbara Emmons, Darla Longo, Rebecca Perlmutter and Laird Perkins repped the seller. The buyer repped itself.


Hanley Investment Group's Ed Hanley, Kevin Fryman and Eric Wohl negotiated the sale of an 88k SF LA-area Kohl's for just under $22M. The buyer was a private 1031 Exchange investor in NorCal. According to CoStar, the triple-net leased property sold for the lowest cap rate ever (4.8%) for a single-tenant Kohl's in the US. The transaction beat the previous record holder, a Redondo Beach Kohl's, by more than 50 bps.


Occupational Therapy Training Program Los Angeles renewed its 20k SF space at Harbor Gateway Garden Office Park in Torrance (19401 Vermont) for another five years. Charles Dunn's Chris Runyen repped the tenant, a nonprofit agency that provides comprehensive life skills and work readiness training, job placement and support services. Sunny Hills Palladium's Dwight Everest repped the landlord.


Walker & Dunlop structured a $42.1M loan for Lafayette Parc, a 259-unit multifamily complex in West Covina. Trevor Fase led the team that originated the 10-year fixed-rate loan, which was structured using Freddie Mac’s CME program. It features five years IO and was underwritten to a maximum 80% LTV and a minimum 1.25 times debt-service coverage ratio.


Mack Real Estate Group, Mack Urban and AECOM Capital formed an investment partnership with Capri Capital Partners to develop a $144M multifamily mixed-use project (1230 S Olive St and 1231 S Hill St) in DTLA's South Park district. Construction began yesterday on the project, which consists of 362 residential rental units and 4k SF of retail space in two buildings. Mack Urban CEO Paul Keller says the project's tailored to local demand—think smaller, more affordable units and amenities like a mailroom that provides cold storage for food deliveries, appealing to a young urban, professional demographic. A JV between AECOM's Tishman Construction and Morley Builders will serve as the GC. Togawa Smith Martin, AC Martin's residential arm, is the architect. Completion: Q1 2017.


Berkadia's Alex Mogharebi, a partner and director of the firm's Affordable Housing Group, was named Berkadia's top multifamily investment broker for 2014. Alex, who's based in the Ontario office, sold more than 1,800 apartment units in California last year, including more than $100M worth of dispositions in Q4 alone. Notable late-year deals include the sale of the 144-unit Monte Vista Gardens in San Jose for $29M or more than $200k/unit; and the 160-unit Ridgeline in San Bernardino, which fetched $18.5M or more than $115k/unit.


Kaveh Amirdelfan joined HGA Architects and Engineers as an associate VP and principal in LA, responsible for client relations and new business development for the arts, community and higher education practice group. He comes to HGA from the DLR Group in LA, where he was principal and regional sector leader for higher education.

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