Caruso OK for 165-unit apartment complex at Thousand Oaks mall

Grove developer gets “Lakes” property for $2M after missing 12% benchmark on returns

Rick Caruso and renderings of the complex (Getty, Caruso)
Rick Caruso and renderings of the complex (Getty, Caruso)

The city of Thousand Oaks struck a deal with Rick Caruso on his proposed 165-unit apartment complex at his Lakes at Thousand Oaks mall property.

The agreement calls for the city to sell the entire 7.5 acres it currently leases to the mall at 2200 Thousand Oaks Boulevard.

The Thousand Oaks City Council approved the deal in a 3-2 vote on November 30.

Caruso has leased the property from the city since the Lakes opened in 2005, effectively for free.

The lease stipulated that Caruso only had to pay for the property if the firm made at least a 12 percent annual return from the Lakes mall, which it never did, according to the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.

The city is locked into the lease for 36 more years.

Caruso will pay $2 million or fair market value for the property and another $13.1 million to the city in “community benefit” payments over 37 years.

Thousand Oaks Planning Commission members argued in November — before ultimately approving the deal — that the deal would finally result in some benefit for the city, according to the VC Star.

“We’re not getting revenue from [The Lakes] by virtue of the formula that exists,” Commissioner Don Lanson said, adding that “the reality is we have a chance of actually getting some benefit in terms of the development agreement [and] under the sale part of it.”

The six-story apartment would be 65 feet in height, making it the tallest residential building in the city of 125,000 or so on the boundary line between Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

The Lakes property is one of Caruso’s 10 retail properties. The firm has developed apartments at other retail properties, including the Americana at Brand in Glendale and Palisades Village in Pacific Palisades.

Rick Caruso himself meanwhile has hinted at a run for mayor of Los Angeles, but hasn’t formally declared his candidacy. A primary is set for June 2022.

[SFVBJ] — Dennis Lynch