Figueroa Street buildings — including Frank’s Camera — sold for $23.25 million

Highland Park  — A real estate firm that has played a major role in the resurgence of Figueroa Street has sold four properties — including the landmark Frank’s Camera building — for $23.25 million, according the broker handling the deal.

Engine Real Estate of Los Angeles sold the buildings in the 5700 and 5900 blocks of Figueroa to Asana Partners, a North Carolina investment firm, said JLL Capital Markets.

Engine purchased the buildings a few years back as the gentrification of Figueroa, where many businesses had catered to working-class Latinos, was beginning to shift into higher gear.  The retail tenants include Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, Kitchen Mouse, Blind Barber, Tinfoil Liquor, Otono Restaurant, Afters Ice Cream and others.

“Highland Park is known as a hip neighborhood within Los Angeles which has a ‘small-town’ feel,” said Dana Brody with JLL. The nearby Highland Park Gold Line station and the neighborhood’s proximity to employe centers like Downtown L.A. and Burbank also played a role in the sale, Brody said.

The portfolio sale includes 5900 N. Figueroa St. (known for its “Coldest Beer in Town” sign), 111 S. Avenue 59, 5711 N. Figueroa and the Frank’s Camera Building at 5715-5717 N. Figueroa.

Coldest Beer in Town sign pictured in 2016

Engine Real Estate seems to have a knack for bringing some unique, small-chain restaurants and bars into newly renovated buildings.

In addition to the Highland Park holdings they just sold, the firm’s  Sunset Gateway in Silver Lake (which is still under construction)  has  landed Blue Star Donuts (an upscale donut place from Oregon) and Ramen Tatsunoya (a ramen restaurant based mainly in Japan) as well as a Parachute bedding shop.

The development firm and real estate agency also signed up a vegan cheesecake shop and a Japanese sandwich shop  for a building in Echo Park.


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