Here are LA’s 5 biggest multifamily sales of 2019

The group totaled $1.4B, with Blackstone, Equity Residential and Daydream Apartments among the big buyers

From top left, clockwise: Daydream Apartments’ Griffin and Grace on Spring, Douglas Emmett’s The Glendon at Westwood and Carlyle Group’s Sofia Los Angeles
From top left, clockwise: Daydream Apartments’ Griffin and Grace on Spring, Douglas Emmett’s The Glendon at Westwood and Carlyle Group’s Sofia Los Angeles

The five biggest multifamily trades in Los Angeles this year tallied $1.4 billion, doubling last year’s total of $712 million.

The deals were so big in 2019 that even the priciest last year — IMT Capital’s $167 million purchase of the Stevenson Ranch complex in Santa Clara — wouldn’t have cracked this list.

On this year’s top five were institutional investors Carlyle Group, Douglas Emmett and Equity Residential, which dropped big money for prime property in Koreatown, Westlake and Westwood; while Blackstone acquired a three-property portfolio in San Pedro and Santa Clarita. But it was newcomer Daydream Apartments, a Denver-based home sharing operator, that took the top spot. The company paid $405 million for the twin tower Griffin and Grace on Spring in Downtown.

But those five deals only tell part of the story when it comes to the city’s overall multifamily market. For instance, multifamily investment in the third quarter stood at $2.5 billion, down 7.7 percent year over year, according to CBRE.

In L.A., as elsewhere, it’s all about location. According to a fourth quarter report from Institutional Property Advisors, the priciest multifamily sales of 2019 in L.A. were clustered around Downtown, Westside, and the northern suburbs, roughly in line with The Real Deal’s list of biggest trades. But the report also highlighted other spots, noting that trades in Inglewood, Long Beach, and Southeast Los Angeles comprised 30 percent of this year’s overall multifamily sales.

TRD’s list of biggest multifamily trades in L.A. is based on property records, news clippings and market reports.

The Griffin and Grace on Spring, DTLA — Daydream Apartments | $405M

Daydream acquired the 575-unit complex in July from Holland Partner Group. The twin 24-story buildings at 732 and 755 South Spring Streets are in the Fashion District. Holland built both buildings, which opened in 2018. Iconiq Capital supplied the financing for recent sale.

Daydream has made other nine-figure multifamily investment in Denver and Seattle, promoting home sharing. The company helps renters sublease their units or put them on home sharing websites.

The Glendon at Westwood, Westwood — Douglas Emmett | $365M

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Douglas Emmett snapped up this 350-unit apartment and retail complex in June, with help from the Qatar Investment Authority. The seller was Clarion Partners. The building at 1040 Glendon Ave. near the UCLA campus includes 50,000 square feet of ground floor retail space.

The sale price was significantly higher than the $300 million that Clarion paid Casden Properties for the property in 2014. Douglas Emmett, a Santa Monica-based real estate investment trust, calls itself as one of the largest owners and operators of multifamily and office property in L.A. and Honolulu.

Sofia Los Angeles, Westlake — Carlyle Group | $272.5M

Carlyle Group acquired the 648-unit apartment complex in October.

The seller, Holland Partners, had put the property on the market for $330 million in June 2018. The sale meant Holland Partners accepted 17 percent less than asking for the Sofia, which spans nearly the entire block at 1120 W. 6th St. The property includes 28,000 square feet of retail space.

Next on Sixth Apartments, Koreatown — Equity Residential | $189M

Sam Zell’s Equity Residential purchased the 398-unit building from Century West Partners, snagging property in a rapidly developing Koreatown.

The August sale came a year after Santa Monica-based Century West completed the seven-story development, after having acquired the land for $21 million in 2014. Chicago-based Equity Residential owns dozens of properties in the L.A. area and is one of the largest multifamily landlords in the U.S.

Three-property portfolio in Santa Clarita and San Pedro — Blackstone Group | $177.5M

Blackstone acquired this 494-unit portfolio in September from TruAmerica Multifamily, which has been a frequent partner. The properties include two in Santa Clarita: the 158-unit Canyon Crest Apartment Homes at 23639 Newhall Avenue and 176-unit Canyon Ridge Apartments at 23645 Meadow Ridge; and in San Pedro: the 160-unit Harbor View Apartments.