True Urban USA and JCI Development have purchased the Hollywood Hillview apartment building from restaurateur Adolfo Suaya.
The two firms paid $19.2 million for the 53-unit property at 6533 Hollywood Boulevard, according to Bisnow. They first planned to turn the property into a hotel, but are now planning to reposition it as luxury apartments.
Suaya put the property on the market in 2019, looking for $25 million. He relisted it last May for $21 million.
The property was fully leased when Suaya first listed it in 2019, and is now 25 percent occupied.
The building dates from 1917 and is subject to the city’s rent stabilization ordinance, which could complicate efforts to reposition it on the high end of the rental market. Remaining tenants cannot be evicted without just cause, and rent hikes are limited.
It was built by movie producer Jesse Lasky and Samnel Goldwyn, and was specifically aimed at up-and-coming actors working at nearby studios. Tenants included stars from Hollywood’s silent-film era, including Mae Busch, Viola Dana and Clara Bow.
The property also has 8,560 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and basement level. Those spaces are rented by Houston Hospitality, although one of the bars shut down during the coronavirus pandemic.
The purchase is True Urban and JCI Development’s first investment in Los Angeles, but they are looking for other projects in the area, said CityStreet Commercial founder Elan Kermani, who represented them in the transaction.
Meanwhile, Suaya is busy developing a whisky-themed boutique hotel about a block to the east.
The aptly-named Whisky Hotel is slated to include 134 rooms across seven stories. Each room will have whisky minibars, as well as a rooftop bar and a ground floor restaurant.
Construction was first expected to wrap up by the end of this year, but the completion date has since been pushed to the end of 2022, according to Urbanize.
[Bisnow] — Dennis Lynch