Playa Vista’s parent company is being sold


The parent company of Playa Vista is set to be sold to a Canadian developer that intends to finish building the housing approved for the planned community near Marina del Rey, according to people close to the deal.

Brookfield Homes is buying Playa Capital Co. and gaining command of more than 50 acres of land near the coast. The transaction, valued at more than $250 million, is set to close at the end of the month, according to the individuals, who wished to remain anonymous because the deal isn’t wrapped up.

Playa Vista has been under development for more than a decade. The 1,000-acre community already has more than 3,200 residences and 2 million square feet of offices. The land Brookfield is taking over is zoned for an additional 2,000 housing units.

As the new master developer of Playa Vista, Brookfield is expected to sell rights to develop 1,500 apartments to Irvine Apartment Communities, a division of Irvine Co. It is also expected to sell some of the remaining 500 residential sites to Los Angeles developer KB Home.

Developers at work at Playa Vista include Ratkovich Co. and Lincoln Property Co. Ratkovich is turning buildings once occupied by mogul Howard Hughes’ aviation company into creative office space for rent, and Lincoln is working on the Runway, a $260-million shopping and apartment complex intended to be the commercial and social heart of Playa Vista.

Representatives of Playa Capital, Brookfield and the Irvine Co. declined to comment. Earlier this month Brookfield Residential Properties raised $222 million through a stock sale, which it used to pay down debt.

Lincoln Property executive David S. Binswanger acknowledged that Playa Capital is on the market.

“Obviously a sales transaction to new, well-qualified and capitalized developers would be nothing but good for the area,” he said.

Pierpont Inn & Spa in Ventura is sold

The Pierpont Inn & Spa, a century-old Ventura hotel that once served as a getaway for L.A.’s upper crust, has been sold for $6.5 million.

The 77-room Arts and Crafts-style hotel was built in 1910 by Josephine Pierpont and is the oldest hostelry in Ventura County.

A 1916 story in The Times called it “an inn of the highest class” and praised its views of the Channel Islands.

The hotel at 550 Sanjon Road was purchased from a private investor, said real estate broker Kent R. Williams of Marcus & Millichap. Public records identify the seller as the Ahn Family Trust and the buyer as a limited partnership.

Famous guests of the hotel include Hollywood legends Cecil B. DeMille, Bette Davis, Edward G. Robinson and Charlie Chaplin. Former President George H.W. Bush stayed there with his family when he was in the oil business in the years after World War II.

U.S. architects report growth in October

The nation’s architects reported improved business in October, with billings accelerating to their strongest pace of growth since December 2010.

Architectural contracts are a leading indicator of construction activity, with a lag time of about nine months to a year between the awarding of contracts and construction spending.

The American Institute of Architects, the leading trade group for the profession, said its index of “work on the boards” reported by architects was 52.8, up from 51.6 in September. Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings.

“With three straight monthly gains — and the past two being quite strong — it’s beginning to look like demand for design services has turned the corner,” chief economist Kermit Baker said.