Neil Shekhter’s firm sells LA Westside apartments to FPA Multifamily

WS Communities divests more than 10% of its portfolio in $76M, three-property sale

WS Communities Sells LA Westside Apartments for $76M

From left: FPA Multifamily’s Greg Fowler and Neil Shekhter along with 1548 6th Street in Santa Monica (Getty, Google Maps, FPA Multifamily)

Neil Shekhter’s WS Communities has sold three apartment complexes in West Los Angeles and Santa Monica, offloading more than 10 percent of its portfolio, The Real Deal has learned. 

WS Communities sold the three properties for a combined $76 million, according to property records filed with L.A. County. 

The buildings, which total 177 units, are located at 1759 Beloit Avenue in Sawtelle and 1539 4th Street and 1548 6th Street in Santa Monica. Shekhter’s firm built all three between 2009 and 2010, according to WS Communities’ website.

WS Communities CEO Scott Walter did not respond to a request for comment.

The sale price came out to about $429,000 per unit. 

FPA Multifamily, an investment firm based in Irvine, bought all three buildings. Greg Fowler, the firm’s managing partner, also runs Trinity Property Consultants, a property management firm. 

FPA used about $43.4 million in loans from JLL Real Estate Capital to buy the complexes, records show. At least one was then sold to Freddie Mac. 

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All three sales were subject to new transfer taxes from the cities of Santa Monica and Los Angeles. In March, the City of L.A. added a 4 percent tax on commercial and residential sales between $5 million and $10 million and a 5.5 percent tax on all sales over $10 million. 

Santa Monica enacted new transfer taxes at the same time — a 5.6 percent tax on commercial and residential sales of $8 million or more. 

In total, the sales were subject to about $4.3 million in transfer taxes — $3 million to the city of Santa Monica and the rest to L.A.

The sale comes as Shekhter grapples with defaults tied to loans on a couple of WS Communities properties. As of last month, the company was in default on a loan from Hankey Capital tied to a Santa Monica land parcel, records show. 

Shekhter’s NMS Properties, a predecessor to WS Communities, also faces a lawsuit from Ladder Capital, claiming the firm defaulted on a $15 million loan tied to three properties across West L.A. — 1901 Overland Avenue, 10750 Missouri Avenue and 11665 Mayfield Avenue.

After the sale, WS Communities owns about 1,300 apartments across Los Angeles, according to its website.