This Week's LA Deal Sheet
Wilson Retail Group, a major independent retail brokerage firm, has joined forces with JLL as the Chicago giant looks to grow in the retail sector.
The firm was founded in 1990 by Chris Wilson, flanked by partner Scott Burns, who joined in 1998 and formerly served as president, and JLL Southwest market director Peter Belisle. While Wilson Retail is particularly known for its work representing shopping center owners, the full-service firm also serves major retailers like Dollar Tree and LA Fitness, as well as investment sales clients. Peter says Wilson Retail represents 9M SF of retail space in 75 shopping centers, making it an "excellent fit" for JLL's expanding retail brokerage business.
We used the Bisnow time machine to retrieve this pic of Chris and Scott from a few years ago. Chris now becomes EVP, Southwest brokerage lead, JLL Retail, while Scott serves as EVP, retail brokerage lead for JLL’s LA office. In all, 16 people from Wilson Retail Group joined JLL. Fun fact: In 1990, developer Bob Champion was the initial seed capital and brains brains behind Wilson Commercial, as it was known back then. "Doesn't start without his prodding and encouragement," Chris says. Bob sold his interest to him 20 years ago, but the firm continues to share offices with Champion Real Estate at 11620 Wilshire. (Only now, it'll be half JLL and half Champion.)
Kimberly Roberts Stepp and Robert Stepp have been among the top multifamily brokers in their respective markets—Kimberly in Santa Monica and the Westside with Charles Dunn Co, and Rob in Long Beach as the principal of Stepp Commercial. Now, they're keeping it all in the family. Kimberly recently joined Stepp Commercial as a principal, keeping her geographic areas of focus. You might expect that the pair met at an industry event (such as a Bisnow Summit). In fact, they met on Match.com and didn’t know until their first date that they were both in the business.
Rob recently completed the sale of this 20-unit apartment property in downtown Long Beach (765 Cerritos Ave), representing the seller as well as the buyer, a private investor from Egypt. Built in 1963, the property had just been rehabbed by the seller using a renovation loan from the City of Long Beach, which froze rents on several units for the next 24 months. Given the rent restrictions, the seller was concerned about finding a buyer. However, noting that newly renovated, well-located properties are in high demand, Rob identified a buyer after just two weeks and secured a price that was within a whisker of the asking price.
Transaction volume isn't all the pair has been building since getting hitched in 2008. They've also been building a family, most recently welcoming son Jagger Robert Stepp (above). He joins 3-year-old sister Anjolie and 2-year-old brother Jett. Three children in 3.5 years—congrats!
The Bascom Group acquired Rose Villas Apartments, an 18-unit community in Long Beach (1207 Rose Ave) for $2.7M or $204/SF. NAI Capital's Kevin Kawaoka repped both sides. This marks the third acquisition under Bascom's new private capital platform, which focuses on buying smaller, value-add multifamily properties in SoCal infill locations with accredited investors. Debt financing was provided by CTBC Bank Corp (USA). Mashcole Property Management has been hired for third-party property management.
Shopping center giant Simon announced additional new stores and food options at Del Amo Fashion Center in the run-up to the Torrance mall's grand reopening in October. Joining the center as part of its 100-retailer expansion will be Arhaus, Banana Republic, Guess/Marciano, KIKO Milano Cosmetics and Michael Kors, as well as the LA debut of Melissa Shoes, among others. Nordstrom and more than 400k SF of small shops are being added to the shopping center, which is undergoing a property-wide renovation.
Studio One Eleven and Gold Coast Village LLC presented a conceptual plan for a comprehensive remodel of Fisherman’s Village to the Los Angeles Small Craft Harbor Commission. The proposed plan aims to update the Marina del Rey shopping area, which occupies a prime location along the Marina’s main channel, yet has a "severely limited waterfront experience," the design firm says. The new plan focuses on creating active open space and improved public access to the marina, including a 30-foot-wide waterfront promenade (above) connecting plazas, playgrounds, landscape improvements and amenities.
Other proposed improvements include a state-of-the-art water recreation center featuring non-motorized, recreational water sports like kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. In addition, the plan removes all surface parking and reconfigures it into a new parking structure. A proposed bike station will offer rental, repair, showers and a bike valet. The concept also includes the addition of a hotel, more retail and dining options, a community room, market hall (above) and an environmental education center.
Marcus & Millichap promoted its chief strategy officer, Hessam Nadji, from SVP to senior EVP. He joined M&M in 1996 and is responsible for the firm’s specialty brokerage divisions as well as research, advisory services and marketing. In his new position, he'll also oversee the firm’s mortgage brokerage operations as well as certain corporate functions.
Steinberg named Simon Ha as a principal in the LA office, responsible for leading the international design firm's multifamily and mixed-use practice in LA. Simon brings over 15 years of experience with an education background in urban development and housing from Harvard Graduate School of Design. Before this, he was a managing partner at TSK and a principal at TCA Architects. He chairs the Planning and Land Use Committee for the Downtown LA Neighborhood Council and serves on the board of Downtown Center BID, among other leadership roles.