Joint venture buys Hollywood apartment building with celebrity murals

The building was the site of a 2011 crime scene

Canyon Partners Executives Joshua Friedman & Mitchell Julis, and CIT chairman and CEO Ellen Alemany
Canyon Partners Executives Joshua Friedman & Mitchell Julis, and CIT chairman and CEO Ellen Alemany

A historic Hollywood building that was once the site of a crime scene just got a new owner, and some much-needed rebranding.

A joint venture between Canyon Partners’ real estate arm and CIT Bank acquired the Harvey, a 177-unit multifamily apartment community at 5640 Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood, the companies announced Monday. Seattle-based Timberlane Partners was the seller.

The new owners will be renaming the four-story property the
“Derby Hollywood” to “reflect its historically rich Hollywood location,” according to the release.

It’s unclear how much the partnership, named Canyon Multifamily Impact Fund III, paid for the property. Sources familiar with the deal said it’s likely to be close to $30 million, considering the property last traded for $15.25 million in 2015.

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CIT’s Real Estate Finance business provided a $20.4 million senior loan to fund the acquisition and future capital improvements. Together, the firms plan on creating an outdoor community space and expanding the ground floor retail options.

Clad with 80-foot-tall murals of the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Marilyn Monroe, the property is a fixture in Hollywood. It also has a bit of a dark past — a tenant killed himself on the site in 2011 after he became a prime suspect in the murder of publicist Ronni Chasen.

The latest deal marks the second acquisition to date for the fund. The two purchased a leasehold interest in the 169-unit Coronado Palms community in Anaheim in September for $32.1 million, property records show. CIT secured a $25 million loan for that deal.

Elsewhere in Hollywood, Harridge Development Group is planning its Crossroads of the World mega-project, which is slated to deliver 950 apartments and condominiums. Jamison, meanwhile, is prepping for a 224-unit apartment complex at Las Palmas Avenue, which will offer studios, one and two-bedroom units.