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Behind California's Largest Multifamily Deal (This Year)

It isn't just Psy who can make a splash in Koreatown. You've already heard about what's believed to be 2014's largest multifamily/mixed-use deal in California, the $283M sale of the Vermont. We spoke with the new owners yesterday.

A partnership of Capri Capital Partners and TruAmerica Multifamily bought the project from a partnership of JH Snyder and Washington Capital Management. (It sounds like everyone has a partner for square dancing. We'll stop asking.) Capri vice chairman Ken Lombard tells us the firm became interested during construction, before anyone knew if it was for sale. It closed in just 45 days. Ken says the new 464-unit, luxury apartment complex at Vermont and Wilshire is a quality, Class-A asset that meets Capri's return criteria. In addition to this new asset, Ken also recently welcomed his third grandchild, Kaiya.

TruAmerica CEO Bob Hart must have enjoyed his four previous deals with Capri, since he also vacations there; this pic is from the Island of Capri during a three week trip Italian trip with wife Cindy and daughter Mia. He gives a hat tip to JLL, which marketed the deal. Any pre-sale, Bob notes, means accepting the lease-up risk, but he has experience in Koreatown—like The Mercury, a condo conversion that Bob bought while heading Kennedy Wilson's multifamily division. At the Vermont, he particularly admires its "tremendous amenity package, which really spoke to the demographics in that area."

JH Snyder boss Jerry Snyder envisioned an apartment project akin to a five-star hotel. The Vermont, completed in May, has been leasing seven to 10 units per week, he says, moving along at its projected rents, which "nobody said we'd get." No one had done a luxury high-rise in Koreatown, where most of the buildings are mid-rise. The Vermont's two towers are 29 and 23 stories. Jerry bought the site during the recession, and Vermont was the first resi development to be built in LA since the downturn.

Did we mention The Vermont is the largest multifamily sale in Koreatown's history? JLL's Javier Rivera, Joe Leon, David Young, and David Doupe repped the seller. The complex includes 31k SF of retail space and a quarter-acre public courtyard along Wilshire. And as Jerry points out: "You can see the ocean from one window and Downtown from another."