December 2, 2019
By Dennis Kaiser
The Westside of Los Angeles remains attractive to investors and developers. New demand is being fueled, as tech firms like Google take residency and SoCal gears up for the 2028 Olympics. Connect Media checked in with Allen Matkins’ Spencer B. Kallick, one of the speakers at this week’s Connect Westside Los Angeles, to hear his insights on the market. Check out his thoughts in our latest 3 CRE Q&A.
Q: What are some of the overarching trends you see driving deals on the Westside?
A: Two words. Google and Community. For Google, everyone is looking at ways to be near the former Westside Pavilion that is going to be transformed for tech giant Google. Whether it’s multifamily developers or commercial office developers, I am seeing a lot of clients trying to find ways to attract Google folks and those that want to be near them because it is good for business. This even includes some who are looking to purchase as many single-family lots in that vicinity, so that they can put up accessory dwelling units to rent to Google employees.
As for community, partnering with and navigating through Westside communities poses tremendous opportunities and challenges. Whether it’s Venice, the Pacific Palisades, or Westwood, Westside communities are very dynamic and engaged. While some may be concerned about this environment, others see great opportunities to locate great jobs and housing in close proximity to transit and well-established communities on the Westside.
Q: How are you advising clients today, given the current SoCal market, economic and business climates? What are the best strategies?
A: There is a ton of deal volume right now. We are as busy as we have ever been. When it comes to development, there is a huge boom occurring on the Westside and I do not see it slowing down. What I am seeing currently is most are buying new properties and holding them. The properties that they are developing are ones that they have held on to for many years, and are now looking to add value through entitlements. At the end of the day, Westside real estate is always going to be an excellent investment. If you can pair a smart development play with an excellent investment, you have a home run.
Q: What types of projects seem to be best suited for the market today?
A: The two best suited to today’s market are transit-oriented multifamily and hotels. This is especially true of multifamily Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) projects that are able to take advantage of increased density and height with reduced parking requirements. Hotels are also in demand, in particular as we see significant investment leading up to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser