Project Description

Apartment Project Homes In on Luxury Service

2015-09-21_16-55-14DEVELOPMENT: Vision for Woodland Hills property includes concierge staff.By KAREN E. KLEINMonday, September 21, 2015

Developer Shawn Evenhaim is on a mission with his new residential project. He wants to introduce the San Fernando Valley to true full-service luxury living – and he’s not just hiring a doorman.

“I’m talking about having a full concierge staff running the building,” said Evenhaim, chief executive of California Home Builders in Canoga Park. “This kind of thing doesn’t exist outside of Hollywood and the Westside.”

The proposed 250-plus-unit apartment complex would be built at the site of the former Panavision Inc. headquarters at Erwin Street and Variel Avenue in Woodland Hills. He envisions a valet service to park cars and drive them around front when residents go out. Or they might opt for the in-house chauffeur service or bicycle concierge instead.

If it is approved by city planners, the 3.2-acre project will break ground sometime next year. It will consist of luxury rental units on the upper stories and ground-floor space for retailers such as a grocer, restaurant, delicatessen and coffeehouse. That will be a contrast to much of the recent boom in Warner Center residential development, which has added badly needed housing but very little walkable commercial space.

“We’re seeing all these units going up in Warner Center but there are no services provided for them,” Evenhaim said.

Included in the complex along with the requisite pool and fitness center will be a twist on the popular live-work concept, with office space that residents and others can rent on a monthly or yearly basis to conduct business on the premises but not actually in their living quarters.

“It’s a model that has been very successful, where there are several private offices and a common area that can be reserved as a conference room,” Evenhaim said.

California Home Builders, a division of Evenhaim Industries Corp., acquired the property for an undisclosed price in November from REW De Soto Partners, a Malibu company affiliated with developer Richard Weintraub. REW bought the 10-plus-acre parcel in 2003 for $17.6 million when it housed a 154,000-square-foot industrial building occupied by movie-camera maker Panavision. The manufacturing company moved in 2012, according to real estate data provider CoStar Group Inc., and Weintraub split the land into two pieces.

He sold the larger parcel, at a little over six acres, to Houston developer Dinerstein Cos. for $31.8 million in 2012. Dinerstein demolished the industrial building that dated to 1974 and built the 395-unit Millennium Woodland Hills apartment complex on its part of the site.