STRANGER THAN A TRAIN

November 15, 2014 on 6:51 pm | In Curious, Historic Properties, New Developments, Of Local Importance, Uncategorized, WOW | 1 Comment

Edited by Jodi Summers

What’s old is new again. The Expo line traces a historic route through Los Angeles. Although its tracks, signals, and power lines are all new, much of the light rail line’s right-of-way dates to 1875, when the first rail link between downtown L.A. and the Westside opened and gave birth to the city of Santa Monica.

1875 drawing of Santa Monica. The Los Angeles and Independence Railroad's western terminus was a wharf, which extended into the Pacific Ocean at the mouth of the Santa Monica Arroyo. 1875 drawing of Santa Monica. The Los Angeles and Independence Railroad’s western terminus was a wharf, which extended into the Pacific Ocean at the mouth of the Santa Monica Arroyo.

In 1874, silver baron John P. Jones partnered with sheep rancher Robert S. Baker to develop a seaside resort town on Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica. Perched atop picturesque bluffs and cooled by an ocean breeze, the town was favorably located — except that it was a long stagecoach journey from the region’s population center in Los Angeles. To make the town marketable, Jones – Santa Monica’s first mayor – built a 16-mile rail line between the Santa Monica Bay waterfront and downtown Los Angeles. He named it the Los Angeles and Independence Railroad. It was only the second railroad built in Los Angeles; the first was the Los Angeles and San Pedro, which opened in 1869.

In the 1890s, the Southern Pacific built a wharf into the Pacific Ocean near Santa Monica and attempted to build a commercial shipping harbor there. Freight traffic along the Los Angeles and Independence skyrocketed until the federal government chose San Pedro as the site of the region's harbor in 1897. In the 1890s, the Southern Pacific built a wharf into the Pacific Ocean near Santa Monica and attempted to build a commercial shipping harbor there. Freight traffic along the Los Angeles and Independence skyrocketed until the federal government chose San Pedro as the site of the region’s harbor in 1897.

The Expo Line is a light-rail line running between Downtown Los Angeles and Culver City, with service to Santa Monica (Phase 2) planned to begin in 2015. The line is named “Expo” as it follows Exposition Boulevard for most of its route.

Expo_line_(Los_Angeles)_route_map

The line is being built in two phases; the first phase comprises the 8.6-mile section between Downtown Los Angeles and Culver City began in early 2006 and most stations opened to the public on April 28, 2012. Design and construction on the 6.6-mile portion between Culver City and Santa Monica started in September 2011, with the opening of the City’s three stations anticipated in 2015.

Southern Pacific excursion trains, shown here in a circa 1900 photo, regularly brought beachgoers and to Santa Monica. Southern Pacific excursion trains, shown here in a circa 1900 photo, regularly brought beachgoers and to Santa Monica.

The Expo LRT to Santa Monica was incorporated in the City’s Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE), and are part of an integrated citywide strategy to reduce greenhouse gases and achieve no net new evening peak trips. The Expo Line currently operates from approximately 5 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. on weekdays and until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. As of June 2013, trains run approximately every 12 minutes during the daytime, every 10 minutes during the evening, and every 20 minutes after midnight.

Though Jones planned to extend the line to Inyo County, the Los Angeles and Independence was never extended past its downtown L.A. terminal at San Pedro and Fifth. Though Jones planned to extend the line to Inyo County, the Los Angeles and Independence was never extended past its downtown L.A. terminal at San Pedro and Fifth.

In the 1890s, the Southern Pacific built a wharf into the Pacific Ocean near Santa Monica and attempted to build a commercial shipping harbor there. Freight traffic along the Los Angeles and Independence skyrocketed until the federal government chose San Pedro as the site of the region’s harbor in 1897.

Detail of a circa 1912 map of the Pacific Electric interurban rail system. The Santa Monica Air Line is highlighted in aqua. Detail of a circa 1912 map of the Pacific Electric interurban rail system. The Santa Monica Air Line is highlighted in aqua.

At the mouth of the Santa Monica Arroyo, where Interstate 10 meets with Pacific Coast Highway today, a wharf — forerunner to today’s Santa Monica Municipal Pier — extended into the ocean. There, ships could dock and unload freight onto rail cars. Heading east, the railroad passed through the future communities of Palms and Culver City before crossing the marshy cienegas of the Ballona Creek plain and then turning north to its terminal at San Pedro and Fifth streets in downtown Los Angeles.

A Santa Monica Air Line car travels eastbound on Exposition Boulevard in front of USC's Mudd Hall. A Santa Monica Air Line car travels eastbound on Exposition Boulevard in front of USC’s Mudd Hall.

The Los Angeles and Independence helped make Santa Monica palatable to real estate speculators and prospective residents, but Jones, who was politically well-connected as a U.S. senator from Nevada, had grander plans for the railroad. Intending to connect the line with the town of Independence in the Owens Valley, and from there to a silver mine he owned in the Panamint Mountains, Jones optimistically included “Independence” in his railroad’s name. Later, Jones hoped, he could extend the line still further east to Salt Lake City and create a transcontinental line to rival the Southern Pacific.

A Santa Monica Air Line car travels west through Culver City at Venice and Robertson. A Santa Monica Air Line car travels west through Culver City at Venice and Robertson.

But luck did not favor the railroad — or Jones — in its early years. Workers had surveyed the entire route and begun grading a path through the Cajon Pass when Jones’ silver mine unexpectedly played out in 1876.

A Red Car traveling on the Santa Monica Air Line crosses over Motor Avenue. A Red Car traveling on the Santa Monica Air Line crosses over Motor Avenue.

Meanwhile, excursion trains brought beach-going day-trippers, but Santa Monica’s population stagnated in the midst of an economic depression, and the town struggled to compete with San Pedro as a shipping center. In dire financial straits, Jones reluctantly sold the Los Angeles and Independence to Collis P. Huntington’s Southern Pacific Railroad on July 1, 1877 for $195,000. Decades later, Jones wrote to his wife: “If you only knew how my heart ached when I was obliged by stress of circumstance to part with the RR, which together with matters connected with it was the pet project of my life.”

A barn served as the Los Angeles and Independence's Santa Monica station in the railroad's early years. A barn served as the Los Angeles and Independence’s Santa Monica station in the railroad’s early years.

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http://www.kcet.org/updaily/socal_focus/history/la-as-subject/rail-to-the-westside-the-expo-lines-historical-precursors.html

http://lovesiliconbeach.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/101/ ‎

http://www.socalgreenrealestateblog.com/?p=3426

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Expo_line_%28Los_Angeles%29_route_map.png

http://www.socalindustrialrealestateblog.com/?p=2161

http://www.socalmultiunitrealestateblog.com/?p=2713

http://www.santamonicapropertyblog.com/?p=5648

Named after the Ivy Park housing development, the Ivy station stop along the Santa Monica Air Line served present-day Culver City. Named after the Ivy Park housing development, the Ivy station stop along the Santa Monica Air Line served present-day Culver City.

THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN OWNERS AND RENTERS

October 15, 2014 on 4:40 pm | In Buyers, Charts + Statistics, Curious, Experts Say, Fascinating Information, Market Snapshot, Trends, Uncategorized, WOW | 1 Comment

by Jodi Summers

Fascinating facts and boring charts on owners and renters, according to the 2012 American Community Survey:

WHO OWNS

The typical owner-occupied household is headed by an individual between 45 to 54 years of age.  The median household income in 2012 was $65,514. The average household size was 2.7 occupants with the most common household type being married.

WHO RENTS

The typical renter-occupied household is headed by an individual between 25 to 34 years.  The median household income in 2012 was $31,888. The average household size was 2.53 occupants with the most common household type being single.

 

AGE

Nearly 17 million or 22.7% percent of all owners are between 45 to 54 years.  The largest share of renters falls within the age bracket between 25 to 34 years. Just over 11 million of 26.4% of all renters are between 25 to 34 years.

INCOME

The median income for rent-occupied households was $31,888. The median income for owner-occupied households was more than twice that amount at $65,514.

A large share of renter-occupied units is single-income households. Nearly ten million or 26.1% percent of all renter-occupied units are single-income households. Only 13.3% of owner-occupied units are single-income households. The largest share of owner-occupied units is married households at 60.1%.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 Consumer Expenditure Survey, average income for married couples with children was $98,104. The average income for all married couples was $90,393 in 2012.

**

http://eyeonhousing.org/2014/04/18/characteristics-of-owners-and-renters/

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http://www.santamonicapropertyblog.com/?p=5566

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http://www.socalmultiunitrealestateblog.com/?p=2675

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SOCAL MULTIUNIT REAL ESTATE BLOG – OCTOBER 2014 > BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVER

September 30, 2014 on 9:31 pm | In Buyers, Charts + Statistics, Curious, Economy, Experts Say, Fascinating Information, fUNNY...mONEY, Government, Market Snapshot, Of Local Importance, Sellers, Trends, Uncategorized, WOW | No Comments

by Jodi Summers

Word in from the Los Angeles County Office of the Assessor is that the value of the taxable property in city of Los Angeles rose by 6% over last year’s figures. Woohoo to all property owners!

The aggregate value of property in Los Angeles County totaled $1 trillion > $62 billion increase from the prior year, and the 2014 assessment roll is the largest in County history.

“While the largest factor for the increase this year was residential real estate, international investors are also pouring money into large mixed use projects in downtown L.A., including projects like the Wilshire Grand Tower and Metropolis,” observes Anthony Crump, Special Assistant of Communications at the County Office of the Assessor.

These super-charged numbers reflect four consecutive year of growth. Clarus Market Metrics charts two year’s growth of apartment buildings in the County; examining August 2012-August 2014, concluding that the median price of for sale properties is up 18% and the median price of sold properties is up 95%.

Breaking it down, the aggregate value of property in the City of Los Angeles was $467 billion. Long Beach had the second-highest property valuation, coming in at $49 billion, followed by Santa Monica at $29 billion, Santa Clarita at $26 billion and Torrance at $26 billion.

Bradbury, a city of about 1,200 about 22 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles, experienced the greatest percentage increase in assessed value, rising 12% year over year. Lancaster came in second with a 10% increase, and Claremont, Palmdale and Arcadia followed closely, each with 8% increases. Five of the 10 cities with the largest increases in assessed valuations were in the San Gabriel Valley, pointing to increased investment in the area.

The assessed values are the foundation of the property tax system and are used to divvy up tax revenue.

For more information please contact Jodi Summers and the SoCal Investment Real Estate Group @ Sotheby’s International Realty – jodi@jodisummers.com or 310.392.1211, and let us move forward together.

**

http://www.labusinessjournal.com/news/2014/aug/28/los-angeles-real-estate-more-valuable-ever/

http://www.socalmultiunitrealestateblog.com/?p=2746

https://www.terradatum.com

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LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION! AWESOME BEVERLY HILLS DEVELOPMENT SITE AVAILABLE…AGAIN

August 20, 2014 on 4:27 pm | In Buyers, Curious, Experts Say, Fascinating Information, For Your Purchasing Pleasure, Investment Opportunities, Of Local Importance, Uncategorized, WOW | 2 Comments

by Jodi Summers

Looking for your fantasy Beverly Hills mixed use development project? One of the most desirable pieces of real estate in the country —9900 Wilshire Blvd., is for sale again. Price in the mid-$300-million range for the 8-acre parcel.

“A truly rare circumstance in the highly regulated and supply-constrained city of Beverly Hills,” note the experts.

The site of the former Robinsons-May department store in Beverly Hills has been vacant for more than a decade and has changed hands a number of times. The current sellers, Hong Kong private equity firm Joint Treasure International, intended to complete an existing plan to build 235 condos on the site.

They had already navigated Beverly Hills’ arduous city planning process and were successful is getting approval on a mixed use complex design by Richard Meier, architect of the Getty Center.

“Upon transfer of ownership, the incoming buyer will leverage the value already created and be able to immediately commence construction — a truly rare circumstance in the highly regulated and supply-constrained city of Beverly Hills,” the selling brokers said in a statement.

The Meier plan includes 876 underground parking spaces and almost 21,000 square feet designated for office space, shops and restaurants.

The property at 9900 Wilshire Blvd. is, “one of the most desirable pieces of real estate in the country,” the L.A. Times writes. The paper notes that the property, located along Merv Griffin way, “has seen multiple owners who have so far been unable to bring a condominium complex designed by a famous architect to life.”

In 2010, Hong Kong private equity firm Joint Treasure International bought the parcel for $148 million. In 2007 the parcel sold for $500 million in one of the largest transactions in the history of Los Angeles County. The company that purchased it subsequently went bankrupt, which is how Joint Treasure International acquired the property.

Will you be the next owner developer for 9900 Wilshire?

For more information please contact Jodi Summers and the SoCal Investment Real Estate Group @ Sotheby’s International Realty – jodi@jodisummers.com or 310.392.1211, and let us move forward together.

**

http://www.loopnet.com/xnet/mainsite/news/News.aspx?DocID=85599&Region=losangeles&intcpt=false&sourcecode=1lne0t006N20140424LN&linkcode=&utm_source=loopnet&utm_medium=emailmarketing&utm_campaign=LoopNews

http://www.socalofficerealestateblog.com/?p=2574

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http://www.socalmultiunitrealestateblog.com/?p=2707

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-property-report-20140424-story.html

http://www.socalgreenrealestateblog.com/?p=3407

http://www.e-architect.co.uk/images/jpgs/los_angeles/beverly_hills_candyandcandy030807_4.jpg

http://lovesiliconbeach.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/location-locat…availableagain/

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WHEN HOUSING AFFORDABILITY IS LOW – APARTMENTS ARE STRONG

June 16, 2014 on 11:48 am | In Buyers, Charts + Statistics, Curious, Economy, Fascinating Information, Investment Opportunities, Market Snapshot, Of Local Importance, Trends, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

from Jodi Summers

Housing affordability is why you can never go wrong with multifamily properties in Los Angeles – only 23% of homes for sale are affordable to the middle class.

And our affordability is rather peachy compared to our sister city, San Francisco. Trulia notes that only 14% of homes for sale in San Francisco are affordable to the middle class, -even though median household income is higher in San Francisco than almost anywhere else in the country.

Notice that 7 of the 10 least affordable markets are in California. We are rounded out by New York, neighboring Fairfield County, CT, and Honolulu. As you might expect, in our coastal markets – Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura County, and San Diego – less than one-third of homes are within reach of the middle class. But, everyone has to live somewhere – it might as well be in one of your buildings.

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http://www.trulia.com/trends/2014/05/middle-class-may-2014/

http://www.socalmultiunitrealestateblog.com/?p=2682

MORE RESIDENCES FOR DOWNTOWN L.A. THANKS TO ADAPTIVE REUSE

April 15, 2014 on 1:58 pm | In Curious, Fascinating Information, Green, Historic Properties, Money Saving Opportunities, New Developments, Of Local Importance, Problem Solving, Recycling, Uncategorized, WOW | 3 Comments

Edited by Jodi Summers

Bravo to the City of Los Angeles. Through innovative public policy and creative private development, L.A.is demonstrating how older buildings can be repurposed and repositioned for the new economy while reducing carbon emissions.

Believe it or not, Downtown Los Angeles contains one of the nation’s finest collections of early 20th century architecture. Most of these buildings sat vacant for decades, until a carefully targeted Adaptive Use Ordinance (ARO) removed regulatory barriers, provided incentives, and helped make it possible to repurpose more than 60 historic buildings over the past 14 years as new apartments, lofts, and hotels.

But many more buildings remain empty or underused in the downtown area and nearby commercial districts.

 

A recent report from the Urban Land Institute and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Green Lab concludes that more than 10 million square feet of space in the city’s urban core is currently vacant. The report, Learning from Los Angeles, was presented to Mayor Eric Garcetti this morning, at an event organized by the ULI Los Angeles District Council. It describes strategies that build on the success of the ARO to unlock the economic and community development potential of underused older buildings. The report documents demolition, building, and vacancy trends throughout the city and recommends strategies for removing regulatory barriers, streamlining approvals, and providing incentives to make building reuse easier to accomplish.

Conversations organized by the Preservation Green and ULI Los Angeles identified key barriers to building reuse and recommend solutions to overcome these obstacles. The Los Angeles Conservancy, a key partner in this effort, served on the project Advisory Committee along with practitioners in real estate development, planning, design, construction, community revitalization, and local government.

Learning from Los Angeles is the first in a new series of research and policy reports being developed by the Preservation Green Lab through the Partnership for Building Reuse, a joint effort of the National Trust and ULI. Launched in Los Angeles in 2012, the Partnership for Building Reuse is designed to foster market-driven building reuse in major U.S. cities through dialogues with community stakeholders about building reuse challenges and opportunities.

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http://blog.preservationleadershipforum.org/2013/10/10/learning-from-los-angeles/#comments

http://www.socalofficerealestateblog.com/?p=2458

http://www.socalgreenrealestateblog.com/?p=3018

http://www.socalmultiunitrealestateblog.com/?p=2592

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