Champion Real Estate Co. Eyes Greater Downtown Housing Development
Developer Secures Loan For New Multifamily Project Near USC
West Los Angeles-based Champion Real Estate Co. has secured a $28.5 million loan to purchase a nearly three-acre property to build a townhome project.
The 75-year-old John Tracy Clinic, sold the property at 806 West Adams Blvd. to Champion Real Estate. The clinic, which provides services to parents and families of children with hearing loss, was founded by actor Spencer Tracy’s wife, Louise, in honor of their son, John.
The purchase price for the land was $26 million, or $422.88 per square foot, according to CoStar data.
The clinic chose Champion as the buyer because it was best suited to come up with the highest and best use for the property, CEO Bob Champion said.
The loan structured by Calmwater Capital includes an initial commitment of $15.67 million in a senior secured term loan and a delayed draw term loan of $12.85 million to be used in the future.
The property, which is less than a mile from USC, is going through the entitlement process.
Larry Grantham, co-founder of Calmwater Capital, said Bob Champion has 38 years’ experience developing an array of property types in L.A. and "has formed beneficial relationships within the local community and with city leaders,” Grantham said in a statement.
The neighborhood has primarily seen the conversion of older homes to other uses in recent years, Champion said.
“The area definitely has a shortage of luxury rental housing,” Champion said. “We wanted to deliver a product we felt had not previously been delivered in the marketplace.”
The project will feature 100 townhomes with amenities, including a swimming pool, club house, outdoor volleyball court and a large gym, Champion said.
Champion Real Estate is agreeing, at the request of the Los Angeles City Council, to voluntarily set aside 5% of the units for affordable housing. Despite its close proximity to USC, the development will not solely be marketed to students but also to faculty and other people who work in the area.
Champion said he hopes to begin construction by the spring of 2019.
The project will be built in two phases with each phase expected to take 15 months.
Richard Green, chair of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, said that area of Vermont and Adams "would be a good place for dense housing to be built.”
Champion Realty recently completed another multifamily project nearby, Victory on 30th, located at Vermont Avenue and 30th St., which consists of two-bedroom apartments.
Just last week, the Los Angeles City Council voted in favor of entering into an exclusive negotiating agreement with NCNvision, LLC, to build a multifamily project at 3685 South Vermont Ave.
However, Los Angeles as a whole needs more multifamily than it currently has, according to Green.
“There’s no city in the world of L.A’s size that has so many single-family dwellings,” Green said. “There’s plenty of space to build in L.A., but we’re under zoned. If we want rents to be lower, we need more multifamily.”
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