The Real Deal Los Angeles

Major Arts District landlord is holding off for “next cycle” before developing his assets

Dan Kotzer of Willow Studios wants to be "last guy standing"

May 23, 2016 04:00PM
By Katherine Clarke

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Dan Kotzer and Willow Studios at 1335 Willow Street

Dan Kotzer and Willow Studios at 1335 Willow Street

Downtown L.A.’s building boom has many landowners looking to monetize their assets by selling or developing — but not everyone is following the pack.

While Dan Kotzer, managing partner at film production facility Willow Studios, is sitting on a goldmine in the city’s Arts District, wit­­h 150,000 square feet of film sets as well as two enormous parking lots in the middle of one of the hottest markets in the region, he has no interest in redeveloping them right now.

Instead, he said he wants to wait out the barrage of new projects slated to come to market in DTLA over the next year and see how well they get absorbed, he told The Real Deal at ICSC’s Las Vegas conference Monday.

“I would rather be the last guy standing,” he told TRD, signaling some concern about a potential over-supply in the market. “Prices have gone crazy since Soho House announced it was opening in the Arts District last year. I want to see how all that plays out.”

Kotzer said he was waiting out the market until “the next cycle,” once the area has been fully established, rather than getting in on the first wave of development.

“I have good cash flow on the site so there’s really no reason for me to have to do anything right now,” he said.

Kotzer is certainly going against the grain. More than 10,000 new residential units are currently under construction in the Downtown L.A. market, which includes the Arts District, according to the Downtown Center Business Improvement District.