The Real Deal Los Angeles

Engine buys mixed-use building in Echo Park for $4.7M

Bullish on Echo Park, the firm also recently bought a property on Echo Park Ave
By Cathaleen Chen | May 13, 2016 12:09PM

David Walker and 1461 West Sunset Boulevard

David Walker and 1461 West Sunset Boulevard

Arts District-based developer Engine Real Estate is getting aggressive in Echo Park.

It just bought a mixed-use structure at 1461 West Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park for $4.7 million, shortly after snatching up a property across the street from Chango coffeehouse. The 15,270-square-foot property, built in 1925, contains 20 apartment units and four retail spaces. 

The sellers were Evangelos and Vasiliki Ambatielos, as well as James and Joanna Zaferis, according to PropertyShark records.

Engine plans on “modernizing” the property by renovating the exterior as well as the inside of the individual units, according to Engine president David Walker.

“We like to go in there and bring new life to these properties,” Walker told The Real Deal. “We focus on areas like Echo Park that has seen a resurgence but still have these older buildings.”

Nicole Apostolos of KW Commercial represented both the buyers and the sellers in the deal, which closed Wednesday.

Three of the storefronts are home to Look Vintage, E2K Salon and Ramirez Income tax.The fourth is already shuttered.

The retail tenants are on month to month leases well below market rates, Walker said. The firm expects its renovations will “make the property more attractive to commercial businesses and residential tenants,” he said.

If the past is any precursor, it is likely that the rents on the renovated property will drive out the current tenants to make way for new ones.

Engine is getting cozy in the neighborhood. It recently acquired an apartment complex across the street from Echo Park’s Chango, the staple coffeehouse on Echo Park Avenue that its brokerage wing has also listed for sale. In March, Engine purchased a Hollywood 24-unit complex at 1722 Garfield Place in Hollywood. The company’s portfolio includes approximately eight buildings across East and Northeast L.A.