Santa Monica coffee shop is sold to housing developer


A Denny’s coffee shop in Santa Monica has been sold for $11.25 million to a prominent developer known for building apartments in dense urban neighborhoods.

The property at the northwest corner of Colorado Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard had an assessed value of less than $1.5 million, but it lies near the planned terminus of a Metro Rail train line expected to connect Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles by 2016 and is in a new mixed-use pedestrian district identified by the city.

The parcel, which is less than an acre, was the subject of 19 offers from potential buyers, said real estate broker Patrick Wade of Marcus & Millichap. The price of more than $300 per square foot matched land prices in the area during the real estate market peak of 2007, he said.


“We have seen property values skyrocket in Santa Monica,” he said.

Denny’s has been a tenant at 1560 Lincoln Blvd. since 1968, according to real estate data provider CoStar Group. Its latest lease will expire in 2013.

A family that had owned the property for decades sold it to NMS Properties, Wade said.

Brentwood-based NMS is a prolific developer that has built apartment complexes in Santa Monica, Westwood, West Hollywood and other densely populated neighborhoods in Los Angeles County. Many of the units are compact and considered affordable housing.

A specific design hasn’t been selected for the Denny’s site, Jim Anderson of NMS said, but he expects to propose a mixed-use building with shops on the ground floor and housing above.

“To us, this is the gateway to downtown,” he said. “We want this to be very pedestrian friendly, heavy retail orientation with some really strong design elements.”

NMS is also planning a mixed-use project nearby at 1650-1660 Lincoln Blvd., which is occupied by a brick industrial building built in the 1950s now owned by NMS.

Marcus & Millichap brokers, meanwhile, are about to market a parcel at the southeast corner of Lincoln and Colorado now occupied by Norms restaurant and Wertz Brothers Antique Mart. At nearly 1.5 acres, it will be the largest piece of land for sale in Santa Monica, broker Alex Kozakov said.



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