The Real Deal Los Angeles

Culver City land sales double dollar volume over last year

Investors eye small and old buildings for development sites

April 08, 2016 01:00PM
By Laurie L. Dove

  • Print
Culver City

Albert Paclebof LA Commercial Inc. and a Google Earth image of Culver City

Culver City has already recorded $38.7 million in land sales this year. It’s a heated pace that doubles the city’s land sales of $18.9 million during the same period in 2015, according to data provided by JLL.

In the first quarter alone, eight transactions in Culver City brought the average price per land square foot to $235, up slightly from $233 a year ago and a marked increase from $117 in 2012.

Culver City, long known for its ties to Hollywood studios, has quietly become an attractive location for big-name tech companies and startups alike. And, it has done so while capitalizing on its other major currency — residential neighborhoods with friendly, walkable streets.

The move to retain its residential feel while encouraging pockets of industrial and commercial growth seems to be paying off. In addition to lighting a fire under land sales in the Culver City submarket, it’s also sparking interest in previously overlooked commercial spaces near these tech-heavy districts.

For example, a 5,800-square-foot, two-story Class A office building with 14-stall ground level parking at 12049 Jefferson Boulevard sold in March for $4.56 million. The building is right on the border of Culver City, just across the street from where it turns into Playa Vista, the tech hub where Google, Yahoo, Facebook and YouTube are tenants.  

The investors’ interest has been piqued by the potential of land topped by outdated structures. Clearing and repurposing lots to their highest and best use is the order of the day, particularly in tech-attractive pockets within the Culver City submarket.

Take 5804 South Centinela Avenue for example. This Culver City property is a three-lot $5 million listing that includes 12,790 square feet of land across from the Los Angeles Clippers Training Center and close to Playa Vista.

The property includes a freestanding 3,244-square-foot building erected in 1952, but the previous owner had plans to raze the structure and develop a three-story office building on the site, said Albert Pacleb of LA Commercial Inc., the listing broker on the site.

“I think it’s a real deal in the making,” Pacleb said. “We are talking about a potential development site for 12,000 to 15,000 square feet of office space that could potentially be sold at $800 a square foot. You are adjacent to Playa Vista with all the new development going on in the neighborhood.