SERIES: Architectural Year End Review

The end of the year brings the holidays, fanfare, and our favorite, the year-in-review.

Commercial real estate takes on many physical forms. Every once in while, you do have to take a step back and stand in awe of the amazing architectural beauty put forth by firms. The creative genius in these cultural, public space, education, residential, and commercial masterpieces can leave you breathless.

Hollywood's Mixed-Use Academy Development Getting Underway

Developer Kilroy Realty is preparing to begin work for the Academy, the Los Angeles-based developer's latest mixed-use complex in Hollywood.  An informational sign that has been placed at the project site now indicates that demolition, shoring, and grading activities are imminent.

The proposed development, slated for a 3.5-acre site at 1341 N. Vine Street, would consist of multiple high-rise and mid-rise structures, containing up to 250 apartments, 235,000 square feet of office space and 37,000 square feet of street-level commercial space.

Local architect Joey Shimoda is designing the mixed-use development, which will be highlighted by a 23-story tower at the northwest corner of the property.

Los Angeles Commercial Real Estate Takes Center Stage

Los Angeles has always been known as a global gateway city for commercial real estate in the United States. But the country's second-largest metropolis has taken the back seat to New York City and San Francisco over the last several years. That is starting to change.

Los Angeles surpassed Manhattan, the country's usual leader, in the first half of the year in deal volume, according to a CBRE report. Though volume decreased year over year in the city, it came in at $13 billion.

Additionally, Los Angeles' downtown is flooded with cranes developing upwards of 100 projects in the area. Plus, the Olympics is coming in 2028, with an expected economic impact of $11 billion, and the city now has two NFL teams after a drought lasting more than two decades.

These developments, as well as an unemployment rate hovering around 4.5%, arguably make Los Angeles one of the most exciting cities in the world to watch in terms of commercial real estate.

EB5 Investors in the US – What to know

The EB5 program was created by Congress in 1990 to help create investments in underserved and underemployed areas of the country. The program offers green cards in exchange for an investment into the United States of $1,000,000. The original plan estimated 10,000 investment visas for foreign investors. 

In 1992 a second investment opportunity was added, allowing individuals to invest only $500,000, as long as the money went to low-income parts of the U.S. where the employment rate was at least 150% of the national average.  Unfortunately, states were put in charge of determining the targeted areas which created loopholes. EB5 regional centers determined where they invest could be adjacent to low-income districts. 

Boyle Heights Sears Building Slated for Revival

1.7-million-square-foot complex to be reactivated with apartments and commercial space. 

Last month, the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission gave positive feedback to the proposed adaptive reuse of the landmark Sears, Roebuck & Company Mail Order Building in Boyle Heights.

The approximately 1.7-million-square-foot complex, built in phases between 1927 and 1970, was designed by architect George C. Nimmons in the Art Deco style.  The 10-to-15-story structure historically operated as a distribution hub for Sears catalog products, although operations ceased in 1992.  However, a Sears retail store still occupies a portion of the building.