The Real Deal Los Angeles

Former clothing manufacturer makes 130-unit bet on Ktown

Raymond Saviss plans to invest $38M in 2 apartment buildings
By Cathaleen Chen | January 27, 2017 04:00PM

Amanda Saviss and a rendering for 2859 Francis Avenue

In Los Angeles, fashion and real estate seem to be cut from the same cloth.

Raymond Saviss, a longtime clothing manufacturer, is among the apparel merchants seeking a piece of La La Land. Namely, he’s setting his sights on Koreatown, where he has two apartment building developments in the works, The Real Deal has learned.

The rookie developer hopes to break ground on a seven-story, 81-unit structure at 2859 Francis Avenue, between Koreatown and MacArthur Park. Saviss acquired the property, which is occupied by a single-family home, for $3.7 million in February 2015. He will invest about $24 million into an apartment complex on the site, Saviss’ daughter, Amanda, who is involved with the project, told TRD.

About a mile north, Saviss is planning a 48-unit apartment building at 139 Occidental Boulevard, which he bought for $3.1 million in July 2015. It’s also occupied by a single-family home, property records show, and the developer plans to pour an additional $14 million into a development on the site.

He will finance both projects through construction loans and private investors.

Saviss is targeting Koreatown because of its central location and burgeoning nightlife scene, Amanda said. It’s also an attractive neighborhood for the influx of millennials that have flocked to L.A. in recent years, she added.

Koreatown was a popular submarket for new projects in 2016. In the fourth quarter, 18 of the 19 total projects filed were in Ktown, according to a TRD analysis of filing data.

The Saviss family is not, however, concerned about a possible oversupply, Amanda said.

“We do think that an area like Downtown is actually being developed too much,” she said. “There’s already high vacancy there, but such is not the case for Ktown. We’re not worried or threatened by the number of developers — in fact it could be beneficial because they’re updating a lot of outdated buildings and could raise rents, in a healthy way of course.”

Saviss’ debut project was in Brentwood, the 45-unit condo complex dubbed the Cosmopolitan BW, which opened in 2015. The family has another project in Brentwood in the works, Amanda said.