Avanath and public agency pay $220M for Baldwin Village apartments

669-unit property is the largest privately owned multifamily complex in the city

Avanath's Daryl Carter with Baldwin Village Apartments (LinkedIn)
Avanath's Daryl Carter with Baldwin Village Apartments (LinkedIn)

An Orange County affordable housing investor has teamed up with L.A.’s housing authority to buy a 669-unit apartment complex in Baldwin Village for $220 million.

Avanath, in a joint venture with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), bought the Baldwin Village Apartments, scattered south of Crenshaw Boulevard, Urbanize Los Angeles reported. The seller was not identified.

The apartment deal came out to $329,000 per unit.

The housing authority, working through the nonprofit La Cienega Lomod, will place a deed restriction on 468 of the apartments. Half the units will be restricted for households earning 60 percent of median area income or below; the other half will be limited to those earning 80 percent. HACLA is mostly funded by the federal Housing & Urban Development Department and collected rents.

The apartments include studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units, and the deed restriction will remain in place for 55 years.

Baldwin Village, located south of Leimert Park in South Los Angeles, has seen growing rents as a result of the pending completion of the Crenshaw/LAX rail line and a planned redevelopment of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza shopping mall, according to Urbanize.

Avanath, a national affordable housing investor based in Irvine, was chosen by the unidentified owner to buy the property after a public marketing process, according to public documents. The company has prepared a plan to invest in capital improvements at the properties, and aims to hire local residents for the work.

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The project was enabled by a statutory exemption from property taxes on affordable units in California. HACLA has provided a loan to support the acquisition, with the remaining funding for the purchase coming from a Fannie Mae loan and equity raised by Avanath.

Baldwin Village, a planned community designed by architect Clarence Stein, includes numerous apartment buildings built between 1948 and 1955. It’s the largest privately owned apartment complex in Los Angeles, according to Costar.

The Avanath-Housing Authority deal creates the largest number of non-age restricted affordable housing units in the city available to families.

Avanath, founded in 2007, owns 104 apartment properties in 53 cities across 14 states, according to its website. It owns 13 properties in Los Angeles, including The Castelar Apartments in Chinatown.

Last spring, it paid $96 million for a 236-unit affordable housing complex in San Francisco. Two years ago, it joined forces with MacFarlane Partners to launch the nation’s first affordable-housing real estate investment trust, with $1.6 billion in acquisitions.

— Dana Bartholomew

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