Grove developer Caruso opens lavish apartment complex

Developer Rick Caruso at his 8500 Burton Way apartment and retail complex in Los Angeles.
(Kirk McCoy/Los Angeles Times)

With apartments holding strong as the hottest class in commercial real estate, developer Rick Caruso is testing the limits of the luxury category in Los Angeles with his residential complex that just opened on Burton Way.

The developer, best known for his plush outdoor shopping centers such as the Grove, spent $65 million building an 87-unit complex where the cheapest apartment is $4,500 a month and many cost more than $10,000.

“Those are New York rents,” Caruso acknowledged. At about $8 per square foot, they are quadruple the Los Angeles average. One furnished penthouse will go on the market for $40,000 a month.


Caruso hopes well-off renters will find his 8500 Burton Way tower both swanky and laid back, a California kind of place where tenants can work out with a staff private trainer, be served breakfast by the saltwater swimming pool on the roof and then catch a ride to the airport in a chauffered black BMW “house car” parked downstairs.

“It’s going to be like a six-star hotel,” Caruso said, with his customary brio.

The developer, who recently bowed out of the Los Angeles mayoral race, is not known for scrimping or half measures – an 18-foot gold-plated nude sculpture in a fountain is the centerpiece of his Americana at Brand shopping center in Glendale.

The 8500 Burton Way complex is clad in white marble Caruso personally selected in Italy and has an ornate garden visible only to tenants. By making the eight-story building out of concrete, Caruso was able to install floor-to-ceiling windows thick enough to shut out the traffic noise from La Cienega Boulevard below.

The layout of the complex was guided by a feng shui master, but Caruso insists on making such detailed decisions as what scented candles burn nonstop in the lobby (Unionmade’s KML) and what kind of hardwood was used on the pool deck (Ipay). The fireplace in the center of the tenants’ club room “didn’t come out right,” he said, and is being replaced.

Residents can take a private elevator to the Trader Joe’s on the ground floor or email a shopping list to the concierge, who will see that the items are purchased and put away in tenants’ refrigerators and cupboards. Room service will be provided from the Larder at Burton Way, an in-house restaurant set to open in mid-February.

One-third of the units are rented, Caruso said.


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