Ron Burgundy Loves Real Estate
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Will Ferrell, on a mission to promote Anchorman 2, paid LA real estate icon Rick Caruso a visit the other day, because he knew the West Hollywood outdoor mall Rick developed 11 years ago, The Grove, would be full of consumers.
Rick told Bisnow this week that his retail properties (also including Glendale's equally buzzed-about "Americana at Brand") have experienced a 15% growth in sales, five times the US average. As for the moustache, Rick grew it for Movember, giving the cause a special exemption to his own company's no-facial-hair policy. However, getting "mixed reviews" at home, "especially from my wife," he's now shaved it off.
Rick sees an emerging big-growth sector in ultra luxury apartments. His "five-star," 87-unit 8500 Burton in Beverly Hills opened earlier this year and is fully leased, renting for $8/SF (no typo) compared to a pre-reposititioned $4/SF. He says services are key, because "people want time back in their lives" and want to be "pampered when they come home." He's identified more sites and has one in escrow in a core LA location ready for ground-up construction. He says he's "comfortable with development risk," and has a "big appetite" to do more, plus a willingness to invest $1B over five years.
Another big goal for 2014: "cleaning up" and re-tenanting formerly mom-and-pop retail to "reinvent the street front." There's been chatter that Caruso is interested in a charming-but-tired row of stores in the high-end Pacific Palisades neighborhood, which we snapped yesterday. Its repositioning could quickly become a model for other upscale areas. Christmas plans? "Regrouping" at home with his wife and four kids. "Most of 'em show up," he smiles.