LA K-Town apartments are hot real estate

December 1, 2015
A Koreatown apartment building located near Western Avenue and 11th Street

A Koreatown apartment building located near Western Avenue and 11th Street

By James Goo

The eyes of the Los Angeles real estate community are on Koreatown as an increasing number of investment companies take over the neighborhood’s apartment buildings.

In the last few months, the area’s real estate has seen an estimated $100 million in turnover.

Koreatown, located in the center of the city beneath Hollywood and Sunset, west of Downtown Los Angeles and east of Beverly Hills, is filled with plenty of food, nightlife and shopping options.

Earlier this month, M West Holdings spent $66 million on two buildings called Emerald Terrace, located at 136 and 160 S. Virgil Avenue, built in 1970 and home to 310 units.

In August, M West bought Wilshire Royal Apartments, a 193-unit building located at 2619 Wilshire Boulevard, for $32.5 million.

Karl Slovin, M West president, said Koreatown is becoming the hottest high-end rental market in Los Angeles.

Prana Investments, a San Francisco-based firm, recently purchased three Koreatown properties — a 47-unit apartment on Normandie, a 76-unit building on Western and a 35-unit apartment on 8th Street, for $16.6 million.

Others joining in are Champion Real Estate Company, which said last month it had taken up the 87-unit Ancelle Apartments, located near 7th Street and Gramercy Drive.

Beverly Hills-based TRG Investments, too, picked up the five-story, 49-unit Ashby Apartments, located at 808 S. Hobart Boulevard, for $8.4 million in September. It was previously owned by Virtue Investments, which had bought it in 2005 for $4.9 million.

“There has been fierce competition for Koreatown apartments in the market,” a real estate source said. “Most $8-to-$10 million buildings are bought out by major investment companies.”