San Fernando Valley Business Journal

Casden Sells Burbank Apartment Complex

By Kelly Goff Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Financially troubled real estate developer Alan Casden has sold a 276-unit luxury apartment complex he built in Burbank in 2010.

Empire Landing, 1901 N. Buena Vista St., was acquired late last month by New York money management firm TIAA-CREF from Casden Burbank LLC, a joint venture of Casden Properties LLC of Beverly Hills and Pacific Coast Capital Partners LLC of El Segundo.

The 200,000-square-foot property, near the bustling Empire Center shopping center and newly constructed office buildings, was attractive given the difficulties of constructing new complexes of similar size in the area.

“High governmental barriers to entry and a lack of available land keep new construction in Burbank to a minimum,” said Joseph Smolen, a director with Marcus & Millichap’s Institutional Property Advisors, who represented the seller, in a statement.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

The apartments feature nine-foot-high ceilings, limestone-finished gas fireplaces, in-unit washer and dryers, gourmet kitchens, walk-in closets and private patios. The property also has a 5,500-square-foot clubhouse with business center and conference room, a fitness center and pool.

Apartments range from one-bedroom, one-bathroom units to three-level, two-bedroom town homes. Rents start at $1,731 a month.

Casden, a Beverly Hills resident, made his fortune selling an L.A. County apartment portfolio in 2001 for $1.5 billion. But he was hit hard by the real estate bust and an acrimonious split with New York private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, his financial partner.

Last year, three Beverly Hills office buildings he controlled, including his headquarters, went into foreclosure and in December he was sued by Citigroup Inc., which claimed he defaulted on a $43 million loan for a private jet.

However, the developer is currently moving through the approvals process for Casden West L.A., a 17-story, 638-apartment development next to a planned Metro station at Sepulveda and Pico boulevards. He is funding the project with a financial backer, said to be Pacific Coast Capital Partners, Casden’s partner in the development of Empire Landing.

Ron Harris, an executive vice president with Institutional Property Advisors, also represented the seller. Institutional Property Advisors also represented TIAA-CREF.