Investor James Randall pays $36M for WeHo furniture showroom

Design furniture store Luminaire recently inked 10-year lease at the Beverly Boulevard property

From left: Michael Shabani, James Randall, and 8840 Beverly Boulevard (Credit: Getty Images)
From left: Michael Shabani, James Randall, and 8840 Beverly Boulevard (Credit: Getty Images)

Updated, 9:32 a.m., Dec. 17: Local real estate player Michael Shabani and a New York partner sold a renovated West Hollywood retail property for nearly twice what they paid three years ago.

The buyer was airplane rivet king-turned-philanthropist James Randall, who fastened together a deal for the furniture showroom.

Randall, through his real estate company Randall Realty Group, paid $36.2 million for the property at 8840 Beverly Blvd., from a joint venture between Shabani’s Crown Equity and Dune Real Estate Partners, public records show.

Through an LLC, the duo bought the retail property in 2016 for $20.9 million, funding the acquisition with a $21 million loan from Pacific Western Bank, records show. The building was recently renovated.

In 2018, the owners inked a lease with Luminaire for the entire 21,000-square-foot space over 10 years. It’s Miami-based Luminaire’s first location on the West Coast.

Having achieved full tenancy, Crown Equity’s Michael Shabani listed the property in March with brokerage Madison Partners, for about $40 million.

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Shabani declined to comment, and New York-based Dune did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Randall, who made the bulk of his fortune in 2014, when he sold his aerospace rivet manufacturing company, Allfast Fastening Systems, for $360 million, is better known for his interest in the local residential real estate market. In 2014, Randall and his wife Eleanor shelled out more than $46 million for a Bel Air megamansion known as Liongate. They also have a $14 million vacation home in Big Sky, Montana. In September, the couple sold their Malibu home for $23 million. The couple had initially listed it in early 2017 for $32.5 million.

Randall is paying about $1,700 a square foot for the retail property, which sits in a neighborhood that’s seen increased activity over the last year. In March, Safco Capital Corp. closed a deal to acquire a 1.3-acre site, occupied by a Gelson’s Market, for $25 million. As part of the deal, Safco agreed to lease back to Gelson’s the 18,000-square-foot store at 8330 Santa Monica Boulevard.

Areas of West Hollywood boast some of the highest retail rates in the city, with Melrose Place commanding rents as high as $240 per square foot/per year. According to Cushman & Wakefield, leasing activity in West Hollywood’s Design District and Abbot Kinney Boulevard surpassed the Beverly Hills Golden Triangle in the first half of the year.

On Beverly Boulevard, the average asking rent runs between $96 and $120 a foot, according to Cushman data. The vacancy rate was 7.8 percent in the second quarter of 2019.

Shabani has been a particularly active player in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills’ retail space of late. He recently scooped up a property at 454 N. Robertson Blvd. in West Hollywood for $4.2 million. He has no immediate plans to develop the site, which has a hair salon on the property. And last year, Crown Equity bought two storefronts on Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive for around $100 million.

Correction: An earlier version misstated Randall’s wealth; he does not appear to be a billionaire.