Notorious Ben Neman puts DTLA parking lot up for sale

2.2-acre parcel in prime spot for development, part of holdings before money laundering sentence

Los Angeles /
Mar.March 30, 2022 10:33 AM
300 South Main Street (CBRE)

UPDATE, April 25, 2022, 1:14 P.m. PT:  Morad ‘Ben’ Neman is out of prison and was seeking bids on the 2.2-acre parking lot in Downtown Los Angeles that was one of several properties in his portfolio when he pleaded guilty to regulatory and tax offenses, and his company Pacific Eurotex Corp. pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money.

Neman is the owner property at 300 S. Main St., according to property records. CBRE has listed the 2.2 acre site–located where the Little Tokyo, Old Bank District and Civic Center neighborhood come together–as a good candidate for a mixed-use development.

(CBRE)

The listing is on an “unpriced” basis, with a May 20 deadline to submit offers.

Parking lots are generally considered prime real estate in Downtown Los Angeles, which has gone through one of the biggest construction booms in its history during the past decade, said Jay Luchs, a vice chairman of Newmark, who has not worked on the 300 S. Main deal.

“Usually downtown parking lots become development sites,” Luchs said, adding that offering real estate at an unpriced basis is not uncommon.

”People often don’t price if they want buyers to come in with a price,” he said. “It’s a game–you never want to show your cards too early.”

The parking lot was last sold for $24 million in 2004, according to Property Shark–a deal that came just as a prior phase of the area’s construction boom was gathering steam.

(CBRE)

Neman was arrested by federal agents in 2014 and later sentenced to two years for being an architect of a Black Market Peso exchange scheme, where his company conspired to launder money for an agent posing as a courier for an international drug cartel.

Neman’s downtown Los Angeles company, Pacific Eurotex, laundered $370,000 from the undercover agent. Neman was sentenced to two years in federal prison followed by 6 months of home confinement. He and his company also forfeited $3.1 million to the federal government.

Neman’s real estate company Neman Real Estate Investments owned six properties worth $81 million prior to his guilty plea.

He did not respond to a request for comment.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated that “Morad ‘Ben’ Neman pleaded guilty to money laundering. In fact, his company (of which Ben Neman was the CEO) pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money.

CLARIFICATION: A court order issued on February 17, 2022, by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michelle Williams has transferred ownership of the parking lot at 300 S. Main St. in Los Angeles to Saeed Farkhondehpour, removing Morad “Ben” Neman from any proprietary interest. The change in ownership had not been recorded at the time this story was originally published.





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