Downtown Burbank, California, Apartment Sale Shows Demand Reaching New Levels

The $161 Million Deal Is the Highest Price Paid on Record for a Burbank Apartment in Years


By Jack Witthaus CoStar News

November 11, 2021 | 10:02 AM


An apartment complex has sold for a record price in Burbank, California, northwest of downtown Los Angeles, as the owners hope to cater to employees of some of the biggest names in entertainment. Los Angeles investment firm Cityview and New York investor Clarion Partners purchased the 276-unit Empire Landing apartment property at 1901 N. Buena Vista St., near the Hollywood Burbank Airport, for $161.1 million, or $581,588 a unit, according to a statement from Cityview and CoStar data. Records in the CoStar database shows the price is the highest ever paid for a multifamily building in the city. The seller of the 7.2-acre property was Chicago's Nuveen.

Empire Landing last sold in April 2013 for $101 million, or $367,754 a unit, according to CoStar data. A renovation is planned for the complex, which was built in 2010. A cost wasn't disclosed but planned upgrades include enhancements to common areas, interiors and amenities such as the pool, fitness center and clubhouse. The new owners plan to update the apartment interiors as well. “Modernizing this community will deliver Class-A style and amenities to a city demonstrating high demand for quality rental housing,” Devang Shah, managing director of Cityview, said in the statement.

The apartments will cater to the employees working in the roughly 15 million square feet of office space in Burbank, a hub for L.A.'s diverse entertainment industry where both Walt Disney Co. and Warner Brothers are headquartered and ABC and Nickelodeon have sizable footprints. In recent years, those entertainment companies have poured millions of dollars into new offices and soundstages, fueling demand for housing in the area. Burbank's apartment market has a 2.3% average vacancy rate, below the greater Los Angeles average of 3.8%, showing strong demand for multifamily, according to CoStar data. In addition, the market's average asking rent is $2,229 per unit, higher than the Los Angeles average of $2,077 per unit.

Roughly 830 apartment units are under construction in the city, again pointing the demand for multifamily real estate, according to CoStar data.

Both Clarion Partners and Cityview are active Los Angeles investors. In February 2020, Clarion and Lincoln Property Co. spent $169 million for a three-building office campus known as Jefferson Creative Campus in Culver City. Meanwhile, Cityview has developed or acquired more than 100 projects and focuses on large and emerging markets in Los Angeles and along the West Coast. Clarion Partners has $63 billion in assets under management, while Cityview has $2 billion of assets under management, according to their websites. For the RecordBerkadia's Tom Moran Jr. and Derrek Ostrzyzek were the listing brokers in the deal.

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