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This Week's LA Deal Sheet

Think the world of commercial real estate isn't wild enough? Recently, Avison Young principal and SoCal regional managing director Chris Cooper went to Africa for a two-week photo safari.

Chris tells us one of the highlights was hanging with the silverback mountain gorillas in Rwanda—including these cute adolescents—at 7,000 feet up. He notes that strict rules are in place for the protection of both man and gorilla. For instance, visits are limited to one hour in the morning, and no one is allowed to go if he or she is sick. (Can't have the creatures catching any germs.) Chris says in the Serengeti, big cats such as lions and cheetahs will come right up to the truck. It's highly suggested that you stay in your vehicle when they are around, he says. This was his first safari. "Africa was definitely on my bucket list."

Back at home, Chris (seen here with his safari guide Bahati) is looking to close out a record year of growth in SoCal—now up to 110 people in six offices, with over 12M SF under agency leasing and nearly 6M SF under management. (Big wins include the leasing and management for the 655k SF San Diego Tech Center.) Major hires include Jonathan Larsen from Cassidy Turley, who did one of LA's largest lease deals this year with Lewis Brisbois, and Eric Moore from DTZ. More exciting hires will be announced by year-end. The firm also is looking to relocate its West LA office, which has outgrown its space, and likely will need to do the same in La Jolla. Chris' region recently hosted AY's annual general meeting, which brought over 700 colleagues from the US, Canada and Europe to the JW Marriott at LA Live for a successful four-day blowout.


Canyon Partners Real Estate and Citi Community Capital formed a second Canyon Multifamily Impact Fund, which will invest an additional $50M in workforce housing in underserved areas in California, Illinois and Florida. CMIF II will enhance the properties through physical upgrades and property management improvements to enhance day-to-day operations, sustainability and residents' quality of life, including educational, healthcare and health-screening programs. To date, 2,345 workforce units in Chicago and LA have been acquired and improved through CMIF I.


A private investor bought a strip center and separate residence in Thousand Oaks (757-763 Thousand Oaks Blvd and 732 Greenwich Dr), consisting of five parcels and 4,730 SF of commercial space, for just over $2M. Lee & Associates-LA North/Ventura's Cheri Blessing repped both sides, and additionally will lease a 730 SF vacant space on behalf of the buyer. According to Cheri, the three-mile strip of Thousand Oaks Boulevard between Moorpark Road and Duesenberg Drive is seeing improved activity—including at least three developers who are seeking approvals for mixed-use projects—thanks to the 2011 passage of the Thousand Oaks Boulevard Specific Plan. The plan allows mixed-use development on properties facing the boulevard while relaxing some regs related to parking and building height.


The Bascom Group and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management acquired a 336-unit multifamily community in Denver, the first acquisition by their $400M Venture II. Brian Eisendrath and Annie Rice of CBRE Capital Markets sourced the debt financing, which was provided by Mesa West Capital. The transaction follows the successful closing of Bascom and Oaktree Capital's initial venture, which acquired eight multifamily properties totaling $350M in capitalization across the US.


A multifamily property in the Palms area of LA traded to a foreign investor for $4.6M. The building (3655 Motor Ave) contains 12 townhouse-style units and was built in 2006. Meredith Schlosser of Sally Forster Jones Group repped the seller, an LLC. The buyer was represented by Matthew Lee and Ryan Cinelli of BRC Advisors Manhattan Beach.


Rexford Industrial Realty signed a 90k SF lease with moving and self-storage container company PODS Enterprises in Panorama City, bringing the 203k SF industrial building (7900 Nelson Rd) to full occupancy. Delphi Business Properties' Jeff Puffer repped the landlord, while Cushman & Wakefield's Alex Beacham repped the tenant. Rexford acquired the vacant single-tenant property in late 2014, and demised and modernized the facility to accommodate two tenants. The value-add strategy resulted in lease-up ahead of schedule and at above underwritten cash yields.


R1 Concepts, a manufacturer and retailer of automotive braking systems, leased 106k SF of industrial space in Cerritos (13140 Midway Pl). The tenant will use the location to expand its warehouse and distribution capabilities while reducing transportation costs, according to JLL's Luke McDaniel and Cameron Driscoll, who repped R1 in the off-market deal. INCO Commercial Brokerage repped the landlord, Oltmans Real Estate Services.


Closetmaid Corp signed a $5.4M lease on a 196k SF industrial building in Chino (5150 Edison Ave). Heger Industrial's Jack Whalen along with Paine Wetzel Associates repped the tenant. Majestic Realty repped the landlord.

The Saywitz Co closed three leases totaling nearly 98k SF with a total value of $7.3M. Robert Ritschel negotiated a $4.2M, 66-month lease extension for nearly 18k SF at 725 S Figueroa St in LA for insurance company Endurance Specialty Holdings. Brookfield Property Partners' Marin Turney repped the landlord. Robert along with Saywitz's Andrew Herron represented Richard’s Food Inc in a $2.1M, five-year lease renewal and extension for its 53k SF HQ in Santa Fe Springs (12500 Slauson Ave). Prologis' Pat Welsh repped the landlord. Finally, Robert negotiated a five-year, 27k SF lease on behalf of ATC Logistics in Paramount (14350 Garfield Ave, above). Cushman & Wakefield's Dave Hess repped the landlord.


Dollar Tree Stores leased a 9,240 SF industrial building on 26k SF of land in Hawthorne (11307 Hawthorne Blvd) for a consideration of $1.1M. Heger Industrial's Brad Giles repped the landlord, and Wilson Commercial/JLL's Scott Burns represented the tenant.


Marcus & Millichap named Gregory LaBerge to the newly created position of chief administrative officer and added Ken Sayward as chief information officer. Formerly national director of the firm's National Hospitality Group, Greg will be responsible for integrating and expanding key functions like research and advisory services, in partnership with the execs who oversee brokerage support departments. He joined M&M in 2005 as an investment broker and became a regional manager in 2008. Ken is responsible for developing M&M’s next-gen brokerage technologies and incorporating the latest advancements into its brokerage support systems. Previously, he served as head of global business applications for Colliers International and as global director of information system for Whirlpool.

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