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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Jamison Services buys Champion’s Hollywood development

Koreatown landlord acquired the shovel-ready 224-unit multifamily project for $23.3M last month

September 21, 2016 04:42PM
By Cathaleen Chen

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Jaime Lee and a rendering of the complex at 1718 North Las Palmas Avenue

Jaime Lee and a rendering of the complex at 1718 North Las Palmas Avenue

Real estate giant Jamison Services, which has long reigned as Koreatown’s premier office landlord, appears to be taking on Hollywood. The developer is gearing up to build a 224-unit multifamily complex at 1718 North Las Palmas Avenue. 

An entity connected to Jamison bought the shovel-ready 50,000-square-foot parking lot from Champion Real Estate for $23.3 million, or $466 per square foot of land, last month, according to property and business entity records analyzed by The Real Deal. A Jamison spokesperson would neither confirm nor deny the firm’s involvement.

Champion made a hefty profit on the land sale — it acquired the site in 2012 for only $9.2 million, or $184 a square foot, property records show.

The development — which would stretch from North Las Palmas to Cherokee Avenue — was unanimously approved under Champion’s ownership by the L.A. City Council in early 2016 despite reported protests from the area’s residents, who said the six-story building would be too tall relative to other structures in the neighborhood.

Hollywood resident Frances Offenhauser, for instance, told the Beverly Press in January that she would consider suing the city to fight the development, which she claims violates the city’s General Plan.

However, in a statement emailed to TRD, Greg Beck of Champion said the community largely supported it.

“We faced little neighborhood opposition and generated broad community and political support to obtain approval for this one-of-a-kind project,” Beck said in a statement.

Beck later followed up with TRD, saying the only opposition the firm faced at the public hearings came from a preservation group. He said that even though the structure may be taller than some other buildings in the area, the overall project does in fact follow the General Plan.

Among the 224 units, at least 24 will be set aside for very low-income households. Amenities include a lobby, fitness room, rooftop deck and other clubhouse amenities.

If Jamison wanted to make changes to Champion’s designs, they would have to “substantially conform” to the plans approved by the city, Beck said. “They couldn’t go any higher, add any more square footage or units.”

Champion sold a Hollywood development in a similar stage last December when it unloaded a 1.75-acre parcel for $39.9 million to the Dallas-based Mill Creek Residential Trust. The land at the corner of North Highland Avenue and North McCadden Place was entitled for a a 248-unit residential development with 13,000 square feet of commercial space.

Jamison, helmed by Dr. David Lee, has recently shifted into the residential business as Jaime and Garrett Lee take a larger role in the company. The firm owns two other properties in Hollywood, both Class A office structures. The first is a six-story building at 3575 Cahuenga Boulevard West, which the developer purchased for $28 million in 2004; and a 11-story one on 7080 Hollywood Boulevard that Jamison acquired for $30 million.

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