A sprawling parking lot across the street from Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles has been sold to local investors who plan to build a large-scale residential and retail complex — perhaps including a hotel.
It was the second sale of a parking lot in the area around Staples and the L.A. Live entertainment complex in recent weeks as real estate development in the neighborhood south of downtown's financial district picks up speed.
The latest sale was a 2.7-acre parcel at 12th and Figueroa streets that has city approval for construction of apartment or condominium towers above stores and restaurants, real estate broker Adam Tischer of Colliers International said.
Tischer is an advisor to the seller, L&R Group, which is the parent company of Joe's Auto Park. The broker declined to name the three buyers, but other downtown property experts not authorized to talk about the deal identified one of the new owners as David Y. Lee.
Lee's Los Angeles company, Jamison Services Inc., is one of the largest office landlords in Southern California.
L&R paid $31 million for the property in 2010 and hadn't planned to sell it, but a trio of local buyers offered to pay substantially more than twice that amount, Tischer said. He declined to reveal the exact price.
The parcel, which was once owned by condominium developer South Group, has preliminary approvals for two high-rise towers of about 35 and 27 stories housing 648 residential units. About 40,000 square feet of space for stores and restaurants would be available for rent at street level.
The new owners may seek a variance from the city that would allow them to use some of the approved 863,000 square feet of development space as a hotel and perhaps accommodate more retail space, Tischer said.
"They are eager to get started and hope to be under construction this year," he said.
The other Staples area parking lot to be sold recently was a 4.6-acre site just to the north at 11th and Figueroa streets. Chinese property developer Oceanwide Real Estate Group acquired the land now used as a parking lot from New York landlord Moinian Group.
Oceanwide said it hopes to develop a five-star hotel, apartments and retail space.