Plumbing magnate looks to build NoHo apartment complex

John Akhoian, founder of Rooter Hero, is also a developer and book author

Rooter Hero Founder Looks to Build TOC Project in NoHo
Rooter Hero's John Akhoian and renderings of plans for an apartment complex in North Hollywood (LA City Planning, Rooter Hero)

John Akhoian, the Los Angeles plumbing magnate and wealth creation author who founded the company Rooter Hero, has filed plans to develop a seven-story apartment complex in North Hollywood. 

It’s not Akhoian’s first real estate venture. The well-known businessman is also a veteran developer who has built several commercial and residential projects going back decades, with ongoing projects that include a commercial building in Santa Clarita and two additional apartment projects in North Hollywood. 

“I started new construction in my early career days,” he said, “then eventually went back to it because I knew how to develop.”

NoHo plans

The latest plans would go up on a roughly quarter-acre property at 11208 West Burbank Boulevard and 5565 Klump Avenue, a few blocks north of the North Hollywood Metro station and NoHo Arts District. Akhoian’s entity bought the site, which appears to currently contain two boarded-up buildings and a surface parking lot, for $2.2 million in 2019, according to property records. 

Akhoian is partnering with the architect Peter Sun on the project, who is listed as the project applicant. The team’s plans call for a 31,000-square-foot apartment complex that would include 42 total units. The project is also seeking incentives under the City of L.A.’s popular Transit Oriented Communities program, which grants density and other bonuses for multifamily projects located near public transit; in line with TOC requirements, the complex would include five affordable units. 

Renderings show a contemporary-style complex with a mostly white and tan exterior. 

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Wealth creation books

Akhoian was born in Armenia and previously told Authority Magazine that he began working as a plumbing apprentice in L.A as a teenager to help his struggling immigrant family pay the bills. He went on to start his own plumbing company at 19. 

He later founded Rooter Hero, a 24-hour plumbing service company with operations in California, Arizona and Nevada. 

“I employ between 400 to 500 people with Rooter Hero, and we are the largest plumbing company in the state of California,” he said last year. “And it all started because I had to help make the mortgage so we didn’t have to move back into that one-bedroom apartment I hated so much.” 

Akhoian also has written several personal wealth creation and biographical books, including “Creating 99 Millionaires: Making It Big as a Home Service Sales Person”; “The Secret to Real Wealth: How a Career in Plumbing Can Change Your Life and Allow You to Retire Wealthy”; and “Temporarily Broken: The John Akhoian Story.” 

The project plans in North Hollywood would add more construction to a neighborhood that for years has ranked among the city’s hottest for new multifamily development. Other nearby projects have included a six-story apartment project on North Elmer Avenue, a proposal from North Carolina-based Grubb Properties to redevelop a movie theater into 128 units and another plan to replace a post office with a 243-unit complex

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