Project Description

Warner Center apartment sale bodes well for local builder

This is one really big flip. And pretty good news for a Canoga Park-based home builder.

The paint barely had time to dry before the new Millennium luxury apartment complex in Warner Center was sold by its Texas developer.

TruAmerica Multifamily, in partnership with Intercontinental Real Estate Corp., has acquired the 395-unit complex from Houston-based Dinerstein Companies in a deal valued at $163 million, the company said.

That’s an average unit price of $412,658. It’s more that than the average price of a Valley condominium, which was $382,900 in November, according to the most recent stat available from the Southland Regional Association of Realtors, which tracks the Valley’s market.

The complex is 95 percent occupied and rent ranges from $2,100 to $3,500.

It was an attractive buy because it fits with the requirements of the Warner Center 2035 plan, which outlines development guidelines for the community, according to the new owner.

“This asset checks all the boxes as a superior multi-family investment that will benefit greatly from the changes taking place in Warner Center,” TruAmerica Senior Managing Director of Acquisitions Greg Campbell said in a statement. “The new zoning promotes a denser, more walkable and sustainable community by promoting more mixed-used, transit oriented development similar to the changes taking place in Hollywood and Downtown LA.”

The complex is within walking distance of Westfeld Corp.’s complex of three shopping and dining destinations, including the new Village at Westfield Topanga, which opened with much promise but is getting mixed reviews. Other dining a shopping options are also close.

The complex, on the west side of De Soto Avenue at Erwin Street, is in what has become a West Valley residential node. There are six apartment or condo complexes in about a two-block radius and more units are planned nearby.

The Millennium opened in the first quarter of 2015.

TruAmerica is going to shorten the name of the five-story complex, which appears to meander along De Soto. It’s now The Motif.

The complex consists of one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans along with a variety of hotel-style amenities, including two swimming pools with aqua lounges, 24/7 clubhouse, fitness center, Wi-Fi lounge with coffee bar, community garden, dog park and a seven-story parking structure that starts underground and isn’t visible from the street.

The units average 1,061 square feet and feature high-end amenities including 10 to 12 foot ceilings, kitchen islands, granite counter tops, and side-by-side refrigerators.

This is the sixth multifamily acquisition in Los Angeles County for TruAmerica, and the second largest single asset purchase for the Los Angeles-based real estate investment firm.

All of this adds up to a chance for veteran Valley developer Shawn Evenhaim, founder and CEO of California Home Builders, to take upscale living in this part of town up to another level.

Last year Evenhaim bought a 3.2 acres that’s adjacent to the Motif from Malibu-based REW De Soto Partners for an undisclosed amount.

He rolled out his plan last summer and is going to bring East Coast and 90210 style living to the 91367.

“It makes us feel good that this is not out of the ordinary,” Evenhaim said of the price paid for the complex. “It’s an indication that there is big demand from investors for this type of product.”

California Home, founded in 1994, is planning a 250 unit complex that will include an upscale market, restaurant, bar, maybe a dry cleaners, some retail space and a car service that tenants can use to visit area restaurants and stores.

He hopes to break ground in a few months.

“We think there is a demand for this in the West Valley,” Evenhaim said. “It’s going to be a completely different design. It more modern. It’s very unusual, but that’s what the Warner Center plan is looking for.”