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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A lofty price for an Echo Park apartment building

The traffic congested corner of Alvarado and Sunset  does not seem like the place where you would want to live in a high-priced apartment next door to a car wash. But only steps away from this Echo Park intersection on Alvarado Street, the five-story high, Echo Ten Thirty Lofts opened its door about two years ago with asking rents for its 20-loft-style apartments  priced as high $3,895 a month for two-level units.  Now, the owners of Echo Ten Thirty Lofts, where a Crossfit gym just opened on the ground floor,  have put the approximately 27,000 square-foot building up for sale at an asking price of $9.3 million.

Sales information on LoopNet shows that apartment rents currently range from $1,495 to $3,555 in the building, which includes a parking garage with 38 spaces.  The listing for the LEED certified structure to such shops and restaurants as American Apparel, Mohawk Bend and Starbucks.  “Both the subject property and the area have been attracting successful professionals in the fields of new media, entertainment, social networking, architecture, arts and design,” says the sales brochure.

So, is all this worth $9.3 million?  Brock Harris of Brock Real Estate has his doubts.

“Overpriced, Platinum LEED certified is nice but the noisiest corner in [Northeast L.A.] is not,” he said in an email.  “This building looks great and the neighborhood should be thankful, but at over $400,000 per unit, just not worth it.”



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42 comments

  1. It’s a bit steep but Echo Park is slowly getting pretty trendy and nice. I think people will pay that price. Buyer’s be patient, hold back, the owner’s will drop their price!

  2. The building does not look great. The retail frontage is absolutely hideous, I went and toured a unit when it was new…the views from 50% of the building are noisy and aweful. I don’t understand this project.

    • If people are paying those prices, it just shows what a pack of idiots are living in Echo Park now. I certainly would not want to live among such a bunch of idiots, even if they have money in their pockets. Money, money, money.

      Still, look at that price range: a two-story unit for $1,495? At two stories, that should be fairly sizable, and I have to think likely two bedrooms — if so, that’s a low price, not the high price he tried to get up front — he never spoke of $1,495 up front. That $3,555 price would certainly be for the retail space at ground level, and as retail space has gone in this area, that isn’t bad either.

      So, maybe some of the people who moved in are idiots, but he couldn’t find very many of those.

      But over $9 million for 20 units — there are plenty, plenty, plenty such number of units in the neighborhood for a lot, lot, lot less. And that he is selling already — it ain’t working out like he wanted, so he is bailing.

  3. I don’t understand this project either, but I’m glad it exists and that I’m in no way an investor of it. The materials, windows, everything looks really good from the street – especially given the blight around immediate area. It’s next to a car wash, across the street from an ugly school, and there is an all night after party across the street that rages on until the sun comes up. It’s also a notorious drug den.

    But who knows what this area will be like in a few years. The past few months have seen this area make a radical transformation and it will probably only continue. Plus you’re walking distance to Mohawk Bend, Elf, Bright Spot …okay, now i”m getting hungry.

  4. The area has tried to become upscale at numerous times. The inhabitants are essentially lower middle class and are struggling to make a living. The taggers keep the neighborhood, sadly, trashed. The streets need work, the trash needs picking up. The homeless need homes. It has potential, but with those prices. It is hard to see it happening soon.

  5. I think the 3 and the 9 are reversed.

  6. “The neighborhood should be thankful”??? Wow.

    Just curious – does anyone live there? If so, how much of it is occupied?

  7. I work in this building, I don’t live here. And for the price I wouldn’t live here because you can rent a beautiful house in silver lake for the price of the lofts in this building. It is easy access to lots of great shops and restaurants. I’ve felt generally safe in the neighborhood though I have seen some characters. I think if you live in the back of the building it’s relatively quiet. However it’s a bummer about the gym downstairs because you can hear a lot of what goes on down there, weights being dropped, etc.

    When the park opens back up it’s going to act as the backyard to this place, which will be nice. I think they’re ahead of the pace of gentrification for the neighborhood, the surrounding area is not up to the level of rent you pay here. The neighboring buildings are pretty skanky but who knows if there are plans to tear them down.

  8. There may be a worse place in LA to pay 9 mil for an apartment building, but I can’t think of one. Horrible, 24/7 traffic congestion, honking, noise. Hideously ugly and loud car wash literally adjacent. Terrible rest of the corner too, nasty minimall, gas station, overflowing trash bins and litter everywhere, just seedy, and not in a cool way. Crossing the street there as a pedestrian feels like risking death, people running reds, turning right at 20 mph without looking. This looks like a boom-era misfire, good luck guys.

  9. (unless, and this is for all real estate – the Fed does more QE. Then buy and watch the funny money chase anything real, until it collapses again. Timing is key)

  10. silly building
    silly price

  11. The lofts have been continuously listed for rent and sale for like 2 years. It seems like (from the ads over 2 years) not many of the units are occupied. At the prices they’ve been asking from the get-go, up to today, it’s just WAY overpriced for it’s location.

    It’s strange that they decided to put it up for sale now. The biggest factor in income property valuation is the Cap rate, which is income divided by sales price. So to make your Cap rate look good/better, you need the most income and the lowest sales price. Well, with empty units, and many of them, you can’t get a good Cap rate.

    With the listing price, and the income this place currently pulls in, the Cap rate has to be horrible. Can’t imagine anyone being interested.

    The original investors/owners are probably hemorrhaging $$$.

  12. The listing price is ludicrous. And the building really isn’t that pretty. It’s not terrible, but it’s certainly not anything special either. Unfortunately, I don’t think that stretch of Alvarado is going to turn into something nice anytime soon. That artery functions as a highway more than anything else. The amount of traffic that goes through there in both directions is astounding, and until the traffic flow is mitigated, I can’t see any part of it being improved. With the improvement in all the surrounding areas, it’s a shame that that area continues to be treated mostly as an on and off ramp between the 2 and the 101 freeways. The builders apparently paid no mind to the circumstance.

  13. Doing a history search on redfin shows NO sales of any of the individual lofts since the building has been completed.

  14. WAY WAY way better Alternatives:

    http://www.redfin.com/CA/Los-Angeles/2397-Silver-Lake-Blvd-90039/unit-23/home/21918340
    Sold for $360k, 980 sqft, 3 (or 4?) levels, attached 2-carage, in a WAY WAY better area (by cha cha, red lion), Mortgage would be about $1300 month (20% down), + $300 HOA = $1600 month and you’d own it.

    http://www.redfin.com/CA/Los-Angeles/2399-Silver-Lake-Blvd-90039/unit-20/home/12285055
    $250k, same complex, same size (980sq), 2-car garage, etc., $912 a month mortgage (20% down = $50k) + $341 HOA, = $1250 a month to own. It is currently: ‘sale pending’

    In comparison, a NO BRAINER.

  15. I live here, and unlike people that sit behind keyboards and throw stones, I am not an “idiot”, as previously mentioned. I love my apartment, and the building. The neighborhood is fun, eclectic, cultured, and edgy. It is very similar like Silverlake was when it went through it’s tranistion 10+ years ago.

    I get to walk to a gastro pub, or grab a quick drink at a local bar after work. There are new restaurants opening up every few months. I get to cheer my friends on as the run the LA Marathon down Sunset (they even use my place as a pit stop instead of using the port-a-potties). I can walk to a carneceria and grab stuff to BBQ on the roof-top deck. I can people watch one of the busiest intersections in LA (Sunset/Alvarado) from my apartment and not hear a thing because the building was built so well. I get to meet all kinds of interesting people, from the folks running some kind of strange gothic art gallery to Don Polo who has lived in Echo Park for decades and sits in front of his apartment building and people watches all day. I walk to Dodger games. Oh, from my windows I have a view of downtown and I get a free firework show every Friday night that the Dodgers play.

    Gentrification? Sure. But everything is cyclical. The reason that Echo Park has so many apartment buildings is that it used to be the suburbs of downtown and all the wealthy lived here, with their big houses. Now those big houses are apartment buildings.

    If you don’t like the neighborhood, or the building, or would rather own your own place, then live somewhere else.

    Home-ownership is not for every one. There is no such thing as a “no brainer”. I can afford a home, but choose not to have one. I do not want the hassle, or the commitment. Yes, my rent is high, but I had a hard time finding a place to rent in my price range that has all of the things that I wanted.

    As for the asking price of $9.5m, it seems fair. With the rents they are able to get (and yes, the building is pretty much full). A CAP rate of 5-7% wouldn’t be hard to hit at all, especially now that there is a CrossFit gym in the retail space (another bonus).

    All that, and Echo Park isn’t even done being renovated. I wonder what will happen to the real estate around here then?

    • What is ‘pretty much full’? How many units are vacant? And are they the big $$ units? Craigslist shows at least one $3k unit (1600) vacant.

      Look, it’s a free world, you don’t mind the ‘high rent’, you think $9.5m is fair (though the ‘claimed’ cap rate is 5.4% http://www.hpapts.com/dpw/dpw.cfm?p=18287 and they usually fudge those #’s in favor of the seller of course), all fair play.

      Though you can also walk to a lot with the silverlake lofts I gave links to above, not to mention it’s a way better area (RE: location location location). And you can actually buy those lofts for around the same price as the rental on a 450 sqft unit in your building, yet the SL loft will be twice the sq ft and also have a 2 car garage.

      Again, it’s a free world.

    • Thank you Borito,

      As I stated before lots of “experts” here.

      Congrats on the space it sounds cool! And you forgot to mention one of the best amenities (el flamin taco truck) parked there every night!

    • Oh my god you are so cool!

  16. I agree that the prices are way to high. They will be stuffing 30 to a unit to afford rent that in that neighborhood.

    Question for all the Prop 13 haters: If only a “pack of idiots” would pay the kind of money for a condo in the building that they were asking, do you really think it’s fair to the non-idiots who are smart with their money to pay taxes based on a number that was influenced by the idiots?

  17. Rent n or leases r high mostly bcuz people keep renting n leasing even tho It’s pricey
    Make a stand unless u have $$ to give away or like me own ur own .I’ve been inside a few lofts @that building n It’s decent It was actually a Craigslist invite I got a nice tour
    Around the place but not a place for kids or family,u have drug dealers in plain sight in the burrito king lot n @ the carwash gangs surrounding the loft easy to become a victim for a burglary or a mugging..that whole area is turning out to b a lot like McCarthur park yuck..too many beaners….n bums..goodluck getting the full 9 million..a lot of prostitution happens there as well anything u want girls,guys,ts,gays full service maybe with the money they make the Pimps can buy it..naww I doubt it…

  18. This building and the school across from it both suffer from pisspoor value engineered designs and garbage street facing elevations. Good job daycare developers/architects!

    Speaking of neighborhoods being trashed…

  19. Ridiculous.

    EP is not getting trendy. The gentrification will never grow as it is out numbered by generational gang families. I worked right across the street from there and it is a terrible area!

    All you hipster from Nebraska and Des Moines driving your Prius will never change the long long filth hole that Echo Park is.

    It is equally disappointing as that area could be so nice.

    See you hipsters at the pawnshop getting your Ipads back.

    • if you want the neighborhood to get better why are you trying to convince people that it will never get better? your stance is uninformed and non-productive. many neighborhoods that were much worse have become far more upscale than EP (look at pretty much any neighborhood in New York). if you want it to be a nicer place, try getting out and doing something productive for the community, and maybe try praising the neighborhood (instead of knocking it down). EP is a great place and getting nicer every day.

      • Only if the do good attitude was that simple.
        Hmmm. Where to begin. I worked at a place that donated food to the poor in EP.
        The same place we would have a toy drive every year for the locals. One of our longest employees worked at EP Woman’s Shelter and for what?

        My car to be broken into twice. For the establishment I worked at to be shot up. To see all the CYS graffiti plaque the neighborhood and surrounding area. To have someone clean the blood off the sidewalk.

        You can believe whatever you choose to believe about EP but the facts are strong in my reference of EP being a crappy place to live. Pop up the LAPD crime report page and tell me how EP is getting better.

        You can design an apartment to look like Taj Mahal but if its in a sewer in will still smell like one.

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