Steven Fogel plans resi, retail project in Venice Beach

Fogel bought half-acre site in 2015 for $15M

Fogel Real Estate Plans Resi, Retail in Venice Beach
Westwood Financial's Steven Fogel and 825 South Hampton Drive (Steven J. Fogel, David Hidalgo Architect)

Steven Fogel is planning to build a 36-unit apartment building, spanning 36,700 square feet, in Venice, according to a filing with the Los Angeles Planning Commission on April 16. 

The plans for 825 South Hampton Drive include a 3,400-square-foot, ground-floor retail section with a cafe and three levels of below-ground parking with 60 spaces.

The limited liability company, SJF Venice, which filed the plans, lists Steven and Kelly Fogel as managers, according to state business records. 

Steven Fogel is the co-founder and chairman of Westwood Financial, a Los Angeles-based firm that owns and operates 127 shopping centers across the U.S, according to a company website.

His daughter Kelly Fogel, a Los Angeles-based photographer, said Westwood Financial is not involved in the project, but the deal “is a personal project for him outside of his company.”

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The firm bought the roughly half-acre site for $15 million in 2022, according to property records filed with L.A. County. The land sits on the intersection of Hampton Drive and Abbot Kinney Boulevard, a popular shopping strip in Venice. 

The purchase came after an entity tied to Fogel Real Estate defaulted on a loan from Columbia Pacific Advisors tied to the property next door, 812 South Main Street, records show. Columbia Pacific foreclosed on that 30,000-square-foot piece of land for $2.3 million in 2021. 

Fogel Real Estate’s plans rework earlier designs for the site that included eight live-work condos, three levels of subterranean parking and 9,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground level, TRD reported in 2017. Fogel previously leased the property, before it bought the site, records show. It’s unclear why Fogel pulled the 2017 plans and has refiled. 

Venice continues to be a desirable neighborhood, despite a “continuing decline in occupancy” and “subdued” renter demand, according to recent data compiled by Mathews Real Estate Investment Services.

Rents in Venice Beach dropped 0.8 percent between March 2023 and last month, according to the report, but is still “one of the three most expensive” neighborhoods in Los Angeles for renters, with asking rents averaging $3,290 a month. 

Other developers that have filed plans in Venice over the last couple of years include Amadora Heights and Wiseman Residential.

This story has been corrected to reflect that Fogel Real Estate is not involved, but that the project is