LOS ANGELES—January 27, 2003—Responding to the overwhelming interest buyers are showing in the Flower Street Lofts condominium project currently in development by CIM and The Lee Group, CIM has acquired a second building in downtown Los Angeles for conversion to loft condominiums. CIM closed today on its purchase of the building at 1100 S. Grand Avenue, previously used by UCLA extension, and an adjoining parking lot for $4.5 million, and plans to team with The Lee Group again to create additional for-sale lofts to meet the growing demand.
More than 2,000 potential buyers have already signed up for the 91 condominiums being built at Flower Street Lofts, which were released for sale on Monday, January 20.
"The overwhelmingly positive response at Flower Street Lofts shows that there continues to be a substantial demand for housing in the downtown," said Avi Shemesh, co-founder and principal of CIM Group, adding, "the designs and amenities of these lofts are appealing to the people who want to live downtown."
Grand Avenue Lofts, as the new project will be called, will encompass approximately a total of 125 lofts plus parking, 70 in the existing four-story building that will have three penthouse floors added atop the roof, and 55 on the adjacent lot. As at the old UPS warehouse that is being converted to the Flower Street Lofts, the existing building has structural features well suited for conversion to lofts, and the additional floors will be designed to optimize the high ceilings, large windows and spaciousness that are important qualities in this market.
"The Lee Group does a great job on the interiors and the views of downtown will be magnificent," added Shemesh. "The location is very near the Flower Street Lofts development as well as the new supermarket on 9th Street that we are building, and has all the same conveniences of living near the business, cultural and entertainment activities that are revitalizing downtown Los Angeles."
Killefer Flammang Architects will oversee the conversion. While detailed plans are not complete, Grand Avenue Lofts are expected to be very similar to the Flower Street Lofts at 1140 S. Flower Street where units average 1,500 square feet, and offer gourmet kitchens, luxury bathrooms and privacy zones as well as typical loft elements such as high ceilings. The Flower Street Lofts' sales office is located behind The Palm Restaurant at 1100 South Flower and is open from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily except Wednesday and Thursday. Prospective buyers can take a virtual tour via a 3D CD-rom that allows them to see every detail and view from any of the 91 lofts.
CIM Group is a significant force in the revitalization of downtown Los Angeles, financing and developing a $220 million, three block, mixed use project located in the center of downtown Los Angeles. When complete, the 7.2 acre site between 8th and 9th Streets and Flower and Hope Streets will include a total of 1200 lofts and 127,000 square feet of retail, including the first full service supermarket in downtown in many years.
The Lee Group is a pioneer in Los Angeles urban infill housing, starting more than two decades ago. The company's focus is for-sale single and multi-family housing and its homes range from those designed for first-time buyers to luxury residences such as those under construction at Playa Vista.
CIM Group, based in Los Angeles, is a full service real estate investor and operator organized in 1994 to revitalize districts of high population density, including the traditional downtown areas within large cities and the main street districts within towns and suburban cities. A leader in California's urban renaissance, CIM Group has developed a premier portfolio of street retail, urban housing, office and mixed-use properties in California's most popular destinations, including Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade, Old Pasadena, Birch Street in Brea, Hollywood Boulevard and San Jose's downtown. Each CIM Group investment adapts proven land use and design principles of great urban districts to the unique strengths of the location and the needs of the community.
CIM Group is one of a few firms with the comprehensive ability to bring complex urban revitalization projects to life. As manager of the $180 million CIM California Urban Real Estate Fund, it has the financial ability to fund the equity requirement for projects. The fund, formed in 2001 with investments from the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) and the Californi a State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS), is designed to pursue California urban infill projects.