The Real Deal New York

Mercer Vine agents jump to Compass, LA sees surge in residential construction, and more…

Los Angeles briefs
By TRD L.A. staff | March 01, 2018 10:00AM

Interior of Westside Pavilion with HPP’s Victor Coleman and Macerich’s Art Coppola (Credit: Westsidepavilion)

Struggling Westside Pavilion finds buyer

Hudson Pacific Properties is in advanced discussions to buy the Westside Pavilion shopping center in West Los Angeles. Macerich Co. owns the struggling Westside Pavilion, a 755,000-square-foot mall at 10800 W. Pico Boulevard. It intends to stay on as partner following the sale, sources said.

Macerich announced it plans to sell the property in November and said it had interest from several potential buyers who would seek to rezone and redevelop the site. A $142 million commercial mortgage-backed securities loan attached to the mall was transferred to special servicing three months prior. The mall, which includes a 10-screen movie theater, Bed Bath & Beyond and Victoria’s Secret, is next to the new Expo Line Metro station, in an area ripe for residential development.

GPI Companies owns the separate 220,000-square-foot Macy’s property — the mall anchor store — and an accompanying 1,550-car parking garage.

(Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Pixabay)

LA sees surge in residential construction

Residential construction in Los Angeles continues to rise to meet intensifying demand, including a recent surge in single-family homebuilding and duplex construction.

An analysis by The Real Deal of permits issued by the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety over the past five years shows the dramatic increase: The city approved 15,994 new residential units last year compared to 9,896 in 2013, a 62 percent jump, the analysis shows. Even compared to 2016 figures, it was a 14 percent increase.

The bulk of those housing units in 2017 came from multifamily and mixed-use developments. There were 12,565 such units approved in 2017, a 9 percent gain over 2016 and a 48 percent increase from 2013. Adding to last year’s total were 283 accessory dwelling units, also known as “granny flats,” which the city has been encouraging to help ease the rising number of homeless.

New apartment construction continues to flood L.A., and in the next three years, as many as 30,000 units could hit the market, according to CoStar.

Growth was seen in the single-family homes as well as duplexes, TRD’s analysis found. The latter category hasn’t stopped growing since 2013, the research showed.

At the same time that new housing continues to come on the market, the lack of affordable housing continues to plague L.A. Last month, a report found that Los Angeles is among more than 500 California municipalities that have failed to approve adequate housing to meet local needs.

Dominic Labriola with Compass’ Regional Headquarters at 9454 Wilshire Boulevard (Credit: Mercer Vine, Google Maps)

Mercer Vine co-founder and five agents jump to Compass

Just a few days after Mercer Vine abruptly closed in late January, Dominic Labriola, the COO, jumped ship to Compass, bringing along five former Mercer Vine agents.

The move stands in stark contrast to Labriola’s vehement denial that he was leaving Mercer Vine. In a brief phone interview on Jan. 25, he told The Real Deal, “My team isn’t going anywhere.” The business shuttered the next day.

Along with Labriola, Compass has hired former Mercer Vine agents Jacqueline Gunn, Coley Laffoon, Brian Griffin, Spencer Payson and Elisa Baran, according to a Compass representative. Lisa Optican, a top-producing agent at Mercer Vine, left the firm for Compass in December.

Notably, Compass refused to hire anyone with equity in Mercer Vine, according to the company representative.

Mercer Vine became entangled in the legal troubles surrounding its main backer, Robert Shapiro, last year. Agents have since been making calls to join other brokerages. The firm’s co-founders, Adam Rosenfeld and Kyle Giese, and top-producing agent Justin Mandile are said to be joining Sotheby’s International Realty, sources previously said.