Big Mack’s Big Plans
Never heard of the Macks? Then you don’t know your big NY money players. Their Mack Urban is gathering serious steam for its first foray in LA. On Friday, your publisher paid a visit.
No, this is not a Mack, but LA-based Mack Urban CEO Paul Keller showing us one of six parking lots in the South Park area of downtown it picked up last fall from Evoq Properties for $80M. Bill Mack and son Richard Mack are best known for co-founding Apollo Real Estate Advisors and AREA Property Partners, and Bill is also non-executive chairman of NY giant Mack-Cali. Last year, the two, with Richard’s brother Stephen, started the Mack Real Estate Group, a new family business focused on urban multifamily. Mack Urban, a partnership with LA’s Urban Partners, is the West Coast expression of this new vision.
The lots are in the shadow of the towering AT&T Center at Olive and 12th, designed by William Pereira and built by Transamerica in the '70s, today owned by LBA. Mack Urban bought the surplus parking around it in a 50/50 deal with AECOM, the architecture and engineering behemoth. It’ll do five projects over a 7-to-10 year period, building 1,700 to 2,000 residential units.
The first will be an AC Martin-designed hotel of 200 to 300 rooms, of a category and brand being evaluated by JLL’s hotel group out of SF. Paul confirms a “4,000-hotel-room deficit” associated with the convention center—if you compare it, experts say, with the number of hotel rooms in very successful convention markets like S.F., San Diego, Las Vegas, and Anaheim.
South Park is teed up, Paul says, to become downtown’s most vibrant Millennial playground, just three blocks from LA Live and in the neighborhood of high-end condos built by the South Group five years ago, including the Evo, Luma, and Elleven shown here. And AEG, which developed LA Live, has now been recruited by the convention center to make it as competitive and buzzworthy.