California Home Builders pays $231M for Playa Vista complex

Mill Creek Residential sells for seven times its initial investment

Mill Creek Residential's Bill MacDonald with5901 Center Drive (Mill Creek Residential, Google Maps)
Mill Creek Residential's Bill MacDonald with5901 Center Drive (Mill Creek Residential, Google Maps)

California Home Builders, traditionally a developer of multifamily housing, has bought an apartment complex in Playa Vista, on the border of Fox Hills.

The firm bought a 376-unit complex at 5901 Center Drive for $230.7 million, according to public property records filed with L.A. County. The price works out to $614,000 per unit. California Home Builders did not respond to a request for comment.

Morgan Stanley provided a $173 million loan for the acquisition, records show. Terms of the loan were not disclosed.

Mill Creek Residential, which is based in Boca Raton, Florida, sold the complex, flipping it for more than seven times what it paid for the property. The firm paid $32.1 million to buy the building from Equity Residential in 2014 and then renovated the units for an undisclosed sum.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Run by Sharon Evenhaim, California Home Builders’ specialty is building homes. Last month, the Canoga Park-based firm broke ground on a 359-unit complex on the edge of Warner Center in Woodland Hills. The company is building a separate 259-unit complex in Woodland Hills, dubbed The Q at Erwin, and two more projects in Warner Center.

Playa Vista is out of Evenhaim’s usual territory. Most of his firm’s properties are in Woodland Hills and Canoga Park, though he has 13 total developments across Los Angeles.

Rents at its newest complex in Playa Vista currently range from $3,000 to $5,100 per month for a one-bedroom unit and $6,000 for a three-bedroom apartment. Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom in Playa Vista is currently $3,563 per month, according to RentCafe.

Rising interest rates have slowed multifamily acquisitions over the last few months, as loans have become more expensive, after 2021 marked a record for multifamily investment in L.A., according to CBRE. Investors spent $374 billion on multifamily properties over the last year — triple what they spent from March 2020 through March 2021.