REIT Invests in Venice Units

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A Denver-based real estate investment trust has acquired a 50% interest in the 795-unit Lincoln Place Apartments in Venice for $57.5 million from owner TransAction Financial Corp., according to an announcement by the REIT, Apartment Investment & Management Co.

Lincoln Place is a group of 52 two-story apartment buildings, constructed in 1950, that has been the subject of years of disputes involving the city, the owner and residents who complain that they will lose their affordable housing if the owner proceeds with plans to upgrade the units and raise rents.

Residents tried to block the upgrades last year by asking the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission to designate the 40-acre complex east of Lincoln Boulevard between Lake Street and Palms Boulevard a historic monument, but the commission voted 4 to 1 against the request.

The attempt at historic monument status came after the city of Los Angeles lost a lawsuit attempting to halt the renovation of the apartments on the grounds that the upgrades would displace low-income families who would not be able to afford rents in the refurbished units. Rents would be as much as $2,000 a month in the remodeled apartments, according to Times reports, compared with about $1,000 now.

The property owner at one time planned to raze the apartments and build anew, but has put those plans aside in favor of the remodeling project. Work has begun, AIMCO said, and it is expected that the upgrade of all 795 units plus the construction of 44 new units will be completed over the next four years.

AIMCO acquired its stake in the project for a combination of the REIT's shares and $4 million in cash, it said.

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