LA residential specialist adds Ventura office complex

Original developer owned 7.7-site, 162K sf complex since 1974

Skya Ventures buys Ventura office complex to turn into apartments
Gelena Skya-Wasserman and 3585 Maple Street (LinkedIn, Loopnet)

A Los Angeles-based residential development specialist will try her hand at the office market in the suburbs after shelling out $24.3 million for a complex in Ventura.

Gelena Skya-Wasserman’s Skya Ventures purchased a four-building complex totaling 162,000 square feet at 3585 Maple Street, records show. CBRE announced the deal on Monday, but did not disclose the buyer or the seller.

Skya-Wasserman told TRD she expects to hold the asset long-term.

The seller was Ventura-based Hammer-Hewson Associates which has owned the property since 1974.

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CBRE said multiple bidders had submitted offers on the site, which also offers opportunity for multifamily uses. However, the site did not include any entitlements and is currently zoned for commercial use by authorities in Ventura, a municipality of 125,000 just over the northwestern boundary with Los Angeles County.

Skya-Wasserman is planning to make light renovations to the property and plans to add more tenants to fill the 36,000 square feet of vacant space at the complex. Current tenants include accounting firms, psychotherapy offices and a law firm.

Skya Ventures is currently working on three residential projects in Los Angeles, according to its website, including a 60-unit redevelopment in Highland Park.

In recent months, a number of Class B office buildings have been bought by investors for conversion into other uses, after the pandemic forced office closures and dampened rents. However, most deals involve conversion into industrial properties, given L.A.’s tightening industrial market.

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