Downtown Streetcar Update: Residents Will Vote on Tax…

So far the Downtown Streetcar project has secured $11 million and is seeking $50 million from the federal government.  The remaining $64 million will be voted on in an upcoming November mail-in ballot, that will determine if tax payers are going to be picking up the tab.

If the voters pass the assessment, business owners would be taxed based on their properties proximity to the streetcar line, as well as their parcel size.  Taxes are expected to be $.45 cents a square foot for properties located along the streetcar route, $.32 cents for properties one to two blocks away, and $.16 cents for 3 blocks away.  Curbed LA shows an example of the tax,  “…At the likely bond rate of 5 percent, a 10,000 square foot parcel directly on the streetcar line would pay $4,940 a year. That size property one to two blocks away would pay $3,460 and $1,730 if located three blocks away.”  Condo owners would be taxed based on a different schedule.

The streetcar route will travel from LA Live, up Figueroa, across Seventh, north on Hill, east on First, south on Broadway; then west on Eleventh and back to LA Live. Due to the fact that public properties can’t be taxed, along with other budget issues, officials have decided to cut out the portion of the streetcar route that would bring riders to Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Music Center.

By establishing a Streetcar in other cities such as Portland and Seattle, locals communities have seen an increase in development and investment around the streetcars path. Many downtown investors and developers have been eyeing parcels that may benefit from the proposed streetcar, however, we will have to wait to see what the voters say in November to get any sort of confirmation.


Champion Real Estate Buys Second Hollywood Parcel for Mixed-Use Development…

Globe St. reports that Champion Real Estate Cohas purchased the 1.14-acre commercial parking lot at 1717 Cherokee and 1718 Las Palmas pictured above for an estimated $10 Million in an all-cash transaction. UPDATE: Champion Paid $9.2M for the site, which is actually 1.1 Acres, meaning a price tag of approximately $192 per sq ft – according to a close source) This acquisition comes almost a year to the day after the firm’s March 2011 $20 Million purchase of a 2.76-acre, 5-building, adjacent redevelopment site spanning the Selma Ave facing side of the block between Las Palmas Ave and Highland Ave. A rendering of the proposed mixed-use development for that site is pictured below. (See Champion’s description of the project here, click on “Projects” and then on the star icon just to the left of the word “Glendale” on the map)

As for the new purchase, Globe St. reports that the company will continue to operate the parcel as a commercial parking lot while entitling the land for another mixed-use project. With the lot currently kicking of a 5% ROI, Champion can afford to be patient with its plans for the new development. However, Globe St. quotes Champion as saying, “Long term, as the transformation of Hollywood continues, we believe the property will be perfectly suited for a mixed-use development that will include public parking, residential, retail and possibly a hospitality component.”  The Globe St. article goes on to explain, “Champion could not elaborate on the mixed-use project until the City Council approves the community plan update, which will dictate what the developer can build, but he does tell that the price in mind for the mixed-use project at this point is around $50 million.”

Champion Acquires Parking Lot With $50M Plans (GlobeSt.)

Image Via Champion Real Estate Companies

LA Downtown News Releases Updated Info On 70 Downtown Projects…

The Los Angeles Downtown News has just released their updated report with the latest information on 70 downtown Los Angeles real estate projects.  As the article mentions, the recovery appears to be underway in downtown, as many stalled projects are moving forward or have recently opened, and new projects have been announced.

Click here to view article

Photo: Developer Linear City plans to break ground in April on a renovation and residential conversion of the former Metropolitan Water District headquarters building at 1111 Sunset Blvd

UPDATE: Major South Broadway Theater Purchased – Going ACE Hotel…

UPDATE 1/23/2012:  Councilmember Jose Huizar announced today that the ACE Hoel chain has indeed purchased the United Artist Theatre, and has announced plans to redevelop the 13 floors into 180-hotel rooms, as well as add a pool, restaurant, bar and reactivation of the historic theater with approximately 1600 seats.  The press release states,  The Ace Hotel property falls within the boundaries of the L.A. Fashion Business Improvement District, which provides clean and safe services, as well as marketing and economic development support for the area. 

(Original Article: Oct 24, 2011)

The United Artists Theatre on South Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles has been purchased for $11 million (approx $117 psf), after being on the market since 2009 with an initial asking price of $15 million.  The building was built-in 1927 and according to the Loopnet listing, contains 73,783 sf of office space, above a 2,214 seat theater.

The buyer, Greenfield Partners is a real estate investment company out of Norwalk, CT, who has joint ventured on hotel acquisitions in the past and according to BrighhamYen, may possibly have plans for a hotel venture on this building.

United Artists Theatre is one of 12 main theaters along the Broadway Theater District, and its redevelopment would serve as a significant stimulus for the south Broadway area as well as be a big accomplishment for the Bringing Back Broadway initiative.  The proposed streetcar, which would run along Broadway and throughout the rest of the central city, may also find the new owners to be  a strong supporter and source of funding, as it would be in their best interest to have a streetcar run outside their building.

NEW Renderings of Farmers Field

There were some new space-agey renderings of Farmer’s Field released today on their Twitter Feed and Facebook Page. Check out their face book page for more renderings and continued updates.

Image Via Farmer’s Field Twitter Feed

Exposition Light-Rail Line: Test Ride With Zev Yaroslavsky

Starting early next year, the light-rail trains will run from downtown’s 7th Street Metro Center out to La Cienega and Jefferson.  Phase 1 station in Culver City is currently under construction and Phase 2 will extend the Culver City line out to 4th & Colorado Ave in Santa Monica, making a total rail line of 15.2 miles, connecting Santa Monica to Downtown!

Here is a video of a light-rail test ride with Supervisor & Metro Board Member Zev Yaroslavsky.

{UPDATE} Metro to LAX Takes Another Step Toward Becoming a Reality


UPDATE – The Los Angeles Daily News reports:

The White House announced today that it would speed through the environmental review needed to extend the Metro Green Line to Los Angeles International Airport.

The project was one of 14 chosen nationwide.

In August, the president signed a memorandum instructing federal agencies to identify and prioritize big, job-creating infrastructure projects.

Feds Expedite Metro Green Line Plan to LAX – LADN

Metro to LAX Takes Another Step Toward Becoming a Reality – The Urban Observer