Three downtown Los Angeles hotels are sold to developers


A trio of run-down, century-old hotels in downtown Los Angeles was sold to developers who hope to clean them up and make them attractive to young artistic types.

A partnership called Bristol 423 bought the Baltimore, King Edward and Leland hotels at a bankruptcy auction for $9.8 million, real estate broker Matt Case of Madison Partners said.

The hotels around 5th and Los Angeles streets were built between 1904 and 1910, when Southern Pacific Railroad’s nearby station on Alameda Street was a key point of entry to the city, downtown historian Greg Fischer said.


The single-room-occupancy hotels with a total of 415 rooms will remain low-income housing, said Eric Shomof, a partner in Bristol 423 with Izek Shomof and Naty Saidoff. Their plans call for cosmetic improvements, enhanced security and the addition of ground-floor shops.

“We’ll try to bring back their original looks as much as possible,” while adding lots of lights, Eric Shomof said.

Drawing businesses to 5th Street will improve a part of downtown that has been dodgy for decades, Shomof said. “At night it’s very dark, and people are standing around doing drug deals.”

Plans call for offering cheap rent to retailers who will open restaurants, dry cleaners and other businesses that serve the neighborhood. The strategy worked close by on Spring Street, where the developers control many of the buildings between 6th and 7th streets, Shomof said.

That stretch is thriving now with restaurants, shops and nightclubs, but Shomof said he literally couldn’t give away retail space there when he first tried more than a decade ago.

Existing tenants in the three old hotels will not be evicted unless they break the law, he said. “We will not tolerate drug dealing.”


He does, however, plan to target struggling artists, musicians and actors as future tenants, he said. “Los Angeles is a place where a lot of people come to try to make it.”

North Hollywood apartment tower sold

NoHo 14, a failed high-rise condominium development turned apartment house in North Hollywood, has been sold to investors for $74 million.

An investment fund managed by Swiss banking giant UBS bought the residential and retail complex at 5440 N. Tujunga Ave. from real estate company Kennedy Wilson, Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America and RCEP/Urban Partners.

Completed in 2008, the 14-story tower encompasses more than 200,000 square feet. It includes 180 residential units and a Roger Dunn Golf Shops store on the ground floor.

The sellers bought the complex for $59 million in 2010 after it had failed as a condo development and title was returned to the lender. They converted the condos into apartments and upgraded the fitness center, leasing office and other common areas, Kennedy Wilson of Beverly Hills said.


NoHo 14 was built to serve residents who want to be close to public transportation, said real estate broker Ron Harris of Institutional Property Advisors. The complex is near the North Hollywood subway station and the Orange Line busway.

It is the only high-rise apartment building in the San Fernando Valley, said Robert Hart of Kennedy Wilson.

Newport Beach nautical landmark sold

Mariner’s Mile Marine Center, a nautical landmark in Newport Beach, has been acquired by a local investor for $25 million, real estate brokers said.

The property at 2429-2507 W. Coast Highway holds five New England-style buildings that date from the 1960s. Mariner’s Mile holds offices and shops as well as a shipyard and large boat slips, said broker Mark Larson of Lee & Associates Investment Services Group.

One of the boats docked there is the Wild Goose, a minesweeper-turned-yacht once owned by actor John Wayne and now operated by Hornblower Cruises. Other tenants include Ocean Alexander yachts and Bauer Architects.


The seller was VMA Mariner’s Mile, which is managed by Murrel Co. of Newport Beach, Larson said.

Broker Tim Sotoodeh, who represented the buyer, said there were no immediate plans to change Mariner’s Mile.

“We bought it for the cash flow and what property is now, but eventually there is a lot of upside and potential,” he said.

The buyer’s name was not disclosed.