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The Real Deal Los Angeles

April 2017 Issue

Inside the spec homes arms race

As the sizes and prices of spreads grow ever larger, so too does the risk to L.A. developers

In February, Douglas Elliman broker Tracy Maltas took a client, a local businessman, to see a property in Bel Air. Maltas is no stranger to great wealth — she’s the daughter of billionaire former Miramax co-owner Ron Tutor and has seen her fair share of luxury L.A. compounds — but this house took even her…Read More→[more]

A eulogy for Measure S

Despite its decisive defeat, the controversial initiative may still influence how city planning reform proceeds, experts say

In the run-up to the March 7 vote, the “Yes on S” billboards towered over Los Angeles communities like the mega-developments the ballot initiative targeted. … [more]

Trouble on the Bloc

DTLA’s beacon of hope is facing a string of setbacks, casting a cloud of uncertainty on the area’s real estate market

The Bloc is a bellwether for the real estate market in Downtown Los Angeles, and for quite a while, it was signaling all good things to the industry, with promises of growth and prosperity for all. But with previously announced tenants now jumping ship, a revolving door of retail leasing brokers and three pushed-back openings,…Read More→[more]

The luxe frontier: Hotel-branded condos

Barriers to entry are huge — but so is the payoff — for properties that bank on brand recognition

Jonathan Genton is spending a lot of time in the air these days, boarding jets to Jakarta, Riyadh and Beijing. He’s making presentations to hundreds of … [more]

The night manager

Hospitality kingpin Sam Nazarian offers his take on the hotel-condo trend but has markedly less to say about that Hakkasan Group merger

Sam Nazarian is the founder and CEO of SBE Entertainment Group, a hospitality firm that develops and manages … [more]

Mayor Garcetti’s gamble

Experts wonder if the mayor’s affordable housing plan and its attendant reforms will hamper the market

The March election awarded Mayor Eric Garcetti twin victories. In addition to successfully defending his seat for a second term, the mayor received a de … [more]

The trials and tribulations of Neil Shekhter

Amid accusations of forgery and assault, the NMS developer looks to clear his name

Neil Shekhter was once known first and foremost as the kingpin of the largest apartment developer in Santa Monica, NMS Properties. But in the past three … [more]

The royal families

L.A.’s most powerful real estate clans are stepping up their game

Though Los Angeles may sprawl far and wide, the city’s real estate roots are relatively shallow. Unlike in New York, where dynasties often stretch back a century or more, many of the most powerful families in Los Angeles County real estate date back only to the 1970s. But despite their relative youth, L.A.’ s royal…Read More→[more]

Is the booming office market due to flatline?

New inventory and increased subleasing may indicate an upcoming plateau

By the numbers, the L.A. leasing market managed to keep up with demand last year, but there are signs that a slowdown is in store. A remarkable amount of L.A.’s office space — 2.1 million square feet in the fourth quarter of 2016 — was absorbed, making it the second strongest quarter since early 1998,…Read More→[more]

Squad goals

A market inundated with brokers means the team strategy prevails, but some brokerages have a controversial approach to the division of labor

It doesn’t matter if it’s a buyer’s market or a seller’s market: Top agents always fight tooth and nail for a piece of the action. And competition has been so intense recently that some have exhibited a decided lack of sportsmanship in the quest to best their rivals, sources say. Top brokers are doing whatever…Read More→[more]

Doing it his way

Developer Rick Caruso, the self-styled Frank Sinatra of L.A. real estate, looks to rehabilitate his image after controversy over his past tactics

The Grove offers the same skewed perception of reality as Disneyland. At both, you’ll find manicured landscaping and polished walkways, music … [more]

The Nostradamus of retail?

In Los Angeles, Rick Caruso pioneered open-air shopping and entertainment centers filled with park-like spaces where visitors could spend the day. The strategy has paid off at a time when brick-and-mortar retail is suffering nationwide, with department store chains like Macy’s and retailers like Bebe shuttering shops, leaving mall developers with empty storefronts. Caruso said…Read More→[more]

Fidelity’s bid to become a one-stop shop

As the title insurer looks to buy up more brokerages, experts worry about mom-and-pop firms

A big kahuna in the title insurance industry, Fidelity National Financial, is taking a more aggressive crack at the brokerage business, and sources say its push … [more]

Pumping the brakes on lending

Despite a booming market, interest rate hikes and uncertainty in the age of Trump are giving even alternative lenders pause

Jonathan Genton Founding partner and CEO, Genton Property Group How have lending conditions in the L.A. commercial real estate market changed … [more]

SoCal market snapshot

Many counties outside L.A. are basking in the glow of residential and commercial growth

San Diego County As San Diego enjoys a biotech boom, new residential developments are flourishing, in part to meet the demand of the growing workforce in the coastal county. This year, about 7,000 apartment units will be added to the San Diego market, up from the 4,000 units that were added in 2016, according to…Read More→[more]

Palm Springs’ millennial makeover

‘The West Coast Hamptons’ is welcoming a crop of L.A.-based first-home buyers

News flash: Palm Springs is hip again! Once a destination for Hollywood elites like Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, the community is now host to 20- and 30- … [more]

Inside a billionaires’ playground

North Hillcrest Road is home to outrageous amenities, nine-figure deals and international intrigue

When spec homebuilder Bruce Makowsky unveiled an $85 million mansion on North Hillcrest Road in the Trousdale Estates area of Beverly Hills in 2014, industry … [more]

Payday!

What real estate chiefs are making — and why

The Los Angeles real estate market has been on a roll in recent months, posting record prices in both the residential and commercial sectors. So who’s taking home all those handsome profits? The Real Deal took a look at SEC disclosures to find out how much bosses at some of the most influential public companies…Read More→[more]

The Closing:
Maurico Umansky

Mauricio Umanksy is the founder and CEO of the Beverly Hills-based residential brokerage the Agency, which he launched with Billy Rose and Blair Chang in 2011. Before starting the firm, Umansky worked under the auspices of his brother-in-law Rick Hilton at Hilton & Hyland. At the same time, he became a household name by appearing…Read More→[more]

Editor's note:
Go big or go home

Dreamers have long flocked to La La Land seeking wealth, fame and the perfect climate to flaunt them. But never before has Los Angeles real estate so blatantly reflected those stardust fantasies. As the county booms with spec mansion development (page 8), builders are going big. The likes of Bruce Makowsky and Nile Niami are…Read More→[more]