The Real Deal Los Angeles

Berkshire Group buys massive One Santa Fe development in Arts District

Sources say ground lease for apartment and retail complex traded hands for roughly $200M
By Hannah Miet | June 06, 2016 03:23PM

The One Santa Fe Complex at 300 South Santa Fe Avenue in the Arts District, and Berkshire Group CEO Chuck Leitner

The One Santa Fe Complex at 300 South Santa Fe Avenue in the Arts District, and Berkshire Group CEO Chuck Leitner

It is nicknamed the “Empire State Building on its side,” because, if it were to stand erect, it would be taller than the New York tower.

Instead, the 438-unit building at 300 South Santa Fe Avenue in Downtown’s Arts District is horizontal and long — a bright red, Michael Maltzan-designed, train station-esque formation that spans 500,000 square feet. With small and pricey apartments, the complex has drawn both vitriolic ire and high praise from architecture critics and housing advocates.

Now, the ground lease for the property, which remains in effect until the year 2090, has sold to Boston-based multifamily investor Berkshire Group, The Real Deal has learned.

The price was undisclosed, but sources told The Real Deal it traded in the ballpark of $200 million, after being listed for around $250 million. It was in escrow for nine months before closing, sources said. It cost roughly $165 million to construct.

The sellers were development partners McGregor Brown Company, Cowley Real Estate Partners and Polis Builders, as well as capital partner Canyon Partners Real Estate. The underlying land parcel is owned by L.A.’s Metro Transit Authority.

Chuck Cowley of Cowley Real Estate Partners declined to comment on the price. He said the financing on the sale was too complicated to affix a dollar amount. Canyon did not immediately return requests for comment on the price. McGregor Brown and Polis could not be reached for comment.

Cowley said Berkshire, and experienced multifamily owner, would likely add its own finesse to the property without changing anything major.

Sources said the buyer was interested in the property because it provides steady cashflow. A 500-square-foot studio in the complex rents for approximately $1,900, according to CoStar.

Amenities at the property include a zero-edge salt-water pool, three whirlpool spas, a fitness club, a resident clubhouse, a business center and full concierge services.

The retail portion of the property, dubbed the Yards, consists of 25 shops, restaurants and arts spaces.

The executive architect on the project was KTGY.