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The Real Deal Los Angeles

A “fix and flip” company picks up Inglewood portfolio for $24M

The 20 adjacent 4-plex homes are near Hollywood Park redevelopment
By Natalie Hoberman | December 17, 2018 02:00PM

Wedgewood Inc’ Founder Gregory Geiser (Credit: Google Maps)

A multifamily developer with a track record for buying homes in distressed markets has paid $24 million for an apartment portfolio in Inglewood, the latest sign of gentrification in the historically black neighborhood.

Wedgewood, based in Redondo Beach, acquired 20 adjacent four-plex apartment homes, dubbed Country Club Apartments, from an individual named Glen Arakawa, property records show. Arakawa owned the properties, found at 9601 Crenshaw Boulevard, for more than four decades.

At $24.25 million, the deal marks the highest sales price recorded for a multi-residential property portfolio in Inglewood, commercial brokerage Marcus & Millichap said in a release announcing the deal.

A multifamily investment sales team led by Aaron Fierstein and Bridget Behmke represented both sides of the deal.

Wedgewood already owns and operates 239 units in Inglewood. It purchased the Country Club Apartments as a “value-add investment,” according to the release.

It is unclear how the multifamily developer will add value, or amend rents, at the aging portfolio. The firm did not respond to requests for comment.

The multifamily developer became the subject of a heated eviction protest in 2016 when the firm picked up a foreclosed home in Rialto for $284,000, and forced the family residing at the house to move out. A vigil contesting the eviction then escalated into full-fledged protests — outside of the company’s headquarters, and at the Manhattan Beach home belonging to Greg Geiser, founder and CEO of the firm.

Geiser then sued the family and several activist groups involved for the private security costs he incurred as a result of the protests, the Huffington Post previously reported.

Wedgewood dubs itself on its website as the “leading acquirer of distressed real estate.” Geiser has also claimed the firm is the biggest “fix and flip” company in the country, purchasing about 250 foreclosed homes per month.

Its investment in Inglewood makes sense. The neighborhood has been seeing an uptick in recent years as major projects, like the NFL stadium at Hollywood Park redevelopment, move closer to completion.