Chargers LA move will boost leasing market: brokers

Lee Mintz, Ronnie Hillman (Getty Images) and Kofi Nartey
Lee Mintz, Ronnie Hillman (Getty Images) and Kofi Nartey

It’s official – the Chargers are heading to Los Angeles this year and brokers are getting ready to catch a pass from players looking to relocate.

Chargers owner Dean Spanos announced Thursday the team would be moving to Los Angeles with plans to play in the 30,000-seat StubHub Center in Carson this year. The team will join the Rams at the new Inglewood stadium when it opens in 2019.

And while the move gives Los Angeles a flood of new NFL athletes, don’t expect too many home sales yet, said Kofi Nartey, director of sports and entertainment at Compass.

It’s unclear where the Chargers will be training, so players will be less interested in finding a permanent home and will likely lean towards luxury leases, Nartey said. While the Chargers recently leased headquarters space in Costa Mesa with acreage to build a practice facility, plans have not yet been submitted and it is not known whether the site will house a permanent training center.

“Housing for a team is usually dictated by proximity to its practice facility versus proximity to the stadium,” Nartey said. “They’re only at [the stadium] eight times a season. They have practice four to five times a week. In professional sports, that’s their job. They don’t want to be late for practice.”

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When the Rams moved to L.A. last year, the players initially opted to rent. But once the team moved into its training facility in Thousand Oaks in September, players settled into surrounding areas in the Valley, especially Calabasas, Nartey said.

Lee Mintz of ​Partners Trust said the Chargers planned move will bring a huge spike to L.A.’s luxury home leasing economy. She already brokered a house lease for Chargers running back Ronnie Hillman in the Hollywood Hills.

“I see it mostly being luxury leases, though some will definitely purchase,” she said, adding that Hillman ultimately wants to buy a home.

When the Rams moved to L.A., at least a dozen players purchased, while the majority leased, Mintz said. Chargers athletes, however, will be less likely to balk at L.A.’s high housing prices, she said. L.A.’s price-per-square-foot difference is less shocking when the buyer is coming from San Diego, as opposed to St. Louis.

When it comes to location, many players are eyeing Downtown, the Hollywood Hills, Manhattan Beach and West Hollywood, she said.