Canadian REIT takes full ownership of controversial Hollywood tower

Morguard Corp. spends $79.4M to buy other half of Lumina from CIM

Lumina Hollywood at 1522 North Gordon Street (Lumina Hollywood)
Lumina Hollywood at 1522 North Gordon Street (Lumina Hollywood)

A Canadian real estate investment trust has paid $79.4 million to assume complete ownership of a 22-story apartment complex with a checkered history of development in Hollywood.

Morguard Corp., based in Mississauga, Ontario, acquired the 40.9% of Lumina Hollywood it didn’t already own in the mixed-use property at 1522 N. Gordon St., Connectcre reported. The previous owner was CIM Group, based in Mid-Wilshire.

The 240-foot tall high-rise has 299 urban lofts, 40,746 square feet of creative office and 12,078 square feet of ground-floor retail.

The property is surrounded by media production and entertainment studios including Netflix, Sunset Gower and Paramount Studios.

“Our increased investment in this strategically-located luxury property strengthens our commitment to multi-suite residential and commercial assets in the United States,” said K. Rai Sahi, chairman and CEO of Morguard, in a statement. “Expanding our ownership of this prominent asset aligns with our portfolio strategy to provide long-term growth potential.”

The towering apartment building on Sunset Boulevard and Gordon Street has a long history in a larger battle over Hollywood highrises.

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Lumina Hollywood, once known as the Sunset Gordon tower, was completed in 2014 by CIM Group. A previous developer had backed out after defaulting on a $9 million land loan when a homeowners group took the city to court, stalling the project.

But after the tower opened, a Superior Court judge ordered CIM Group to empty the building of its tenants.

What followed was a protracted legal dispute with a neighborhood association and the city over the demolition of an Old Spaghetti Factory from the 1920s that the developer was supposed to preserve. The city made CIM complete another environmental review.

The building sat vacant for three years until 2018, when CIM Group was finally cleared to reopen the tower. But not before it agreed to increase the number of affordable housing units and create a replica of the demolished Old Spaghetti Factory, preserving “key elements” of the 1924 building, originally an auto showroom.

In March 2021, CIM Group submitted plans to build another 110-unit apartment building across the street from the controversial tower since renamed Lumina. The seven-story, mixed-use building would include 14,600 square feet of ground floor retail space.

[ConnectCRE] – Dana Bartholomew

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