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Monday, May 20, 2024

St. Louis Brokerage Heading West Into Valley

Cassidy Turley Inc., a development and brokerage firm that entered the Los Angeles market this year with the opening of a regional office downtown, has set its sights on the San Fernando and Conejo valleys. The St. Louis company announced this month that it has hired a team to focus on the area. Lee Black will join the Los Angeles Metro office as executive managing director, Jared Smits as vice president and Yvonne Ayala as senior associate. All three previously worked in the Valley for NAI Capital Inc., an Encino commercial real estate services firm with offices throughout Southern California. Black was named the top producer last year at the company’s headquarters office. “We’re all very bullish on the San Fernando Valley, the west valley and into the Conejo Valley,” said Jonathan Larsen, regional managing principal for Cassidy Turley. “Lee’s had a great track record out that way over the last 27 years, and we know he can continue that and he’ll be leading this new team.” Cassidy Turley has significant projects and properties in the San Diego and the Bay Area, and wants to expand into the Los Angeles market. Larsen said the new hire also will help the fledgling metro office build its portfolio. “For now, the team will split their time between the Westlake area and our downtown office, getting them integrated into the office,” Larsen said. Larsen himself was recruited last year from Transwestern’s downtown location to open Cassidy Turley’s Los Angeles office. Valley Moves Archstone Inc., one of the nation’s largest apartment investors, developers and managers, continues to shuffle its Los Angeles portfolio as it readies itself to go public. Last month, it acquired Studio 4121, a 149-unit luxury apartment complex at 4043-4127 Radford Ave. in Studio City for $56 million. The property, built in 2009, features one- and two-bedroom units. “The investor acquired a core Southern California asset in a dense infill location across the street from CBS Studio Center and adjacent to the burgeoning Ventura Boulevard,” Ron Harris, a broker with Institutional Property Advisors, the multifamily brokerage division of Marcus & Millichap, said in a statement. Harris, along with colleagues Greg Harris, Kevin Green and Joseph Smolen, represented both the buyer and seller. The transaction was consistent with others taken by the Engelwood, Colo.-based Archstone as it prepares to go public to take advantage of the strength of the apartment market. In late summer, the private real estate investment trust sold its 191-unit Archstone Thousand Oaks to IMT Capital LLC for $51.3 million. Although the property had been renovated in recent years, it was built in the 1970s and was not a particularly attractive part of its area portfolio. The company has added several newer, higher-end properties in recent months. Last month, it purchased a 70-unit building in Venice and a 205-unit property in Marina del Rey, spending more than $100 million on the two properties. Archstone owns all or part of 174 apartment complexes nationwide, including more than 50 in Southern California. The company was taken private in a $22 billion deal in 2007 and is owned by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Bank of America Corp. and Barclays PLC. Early this month, in a regulatory filing, the company indicated that it planned to sell $1.77 billion in assets through the end of next year to reduce debt as it nears its initial public offering, expected by the middle of next year. Post Production Exit Catalyst Post Services, a Burbank company that rents post-production equipment to the entertainment industry, is expanding into Studio City. The company purchased a four-story, 14,600 square foot office building at 11132-34 Ventura Blvd. for $4.5 million from seller DT HQ Holding LP, an investment group with an office in Studio City. The company, headquartered on Magnolia Blvd., rents editing equipment and software to production companies, as well as providing technical support for the equipment. Scott Romick of Lee & Associates represented the owner, which acquired the property six years ago as an investment. He said the sale to an owner-user was seen as a good exit strategy. “All the stars were aligned to do it right now. All the leases were either expiring or just about to expire, so they saw it as good timing,” Romick said. The building’s close proximity to the studios had attracted a number of potential buyers in the entertainment industry. Catalyst has not yet moved into the building, and some work will need to be done before it is ready for move-in. “They’ll be making significant changes to get it ready for their use,” Romick noted. Catalyst represented itself in the transaction. According to Catalyst Post President Darin Kirby, the company will begin renovations immediately, but does not plan to move in until May. Staff Reporter Kelly Goff can be reached at (818) 316-3135 or by email at [email protected].

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