9900 Wilshire, the proposed site of two fancy mixed-use towers designed by starchitect Richard Meier, just seemed to finally be getting off the ground after years of delays and ownership transfers, but now here it is up for sale again. And we'd just heard that demolition of the beloved old Robinsons-May building on the site was set for late spring or summer; there was even a big fence battle brewing with the neighbors at the Los Angeles Country Club! The brokers won't confirm a price, but experts estimate the land's worth somewhere in "the mid-$300-million range," more than twice what the current owners Joint Treasure International Ltd. paid in 2010, reports the LA Times. The property is being sold, once again, with all the entitlements for 235 condos and 21,000 square feet of groundfloor retail, meaning potential new owners can jump right into demolition and construction—"a truly rare circumstance in the highly regulated and supply-constrained city of Beverly Hills," say the brokers.
This site has had more than its share of false starts since it was purchased for a ridiculous $500 million by the slick jet-setting Candy & Candy brothers in 2007. (The then-sellers had paid just $33.5 million three years before.) Then came trouble: the Candys Icelandic bank went under, they defaulted on their loan for the project, and the site was foreclosed on in 2010. When the current Hong-Kong-based owners snapped up the project for $148 million, they planned on keeping the condos, and even made some tweaks to the design (more parking, no rooms for "the help"). Sure, they had problems with neighbors LA Country Club over a 166-foot-tall fence/eyesore, but it didn't seem like anything to abandon ship over. High-end development booming in Los Angeles, even right next door where the Waldorf Astoria is finally set to start work; it's definitely counter-trend to be getting out right now.
And who's going to buy this thing? No surprise here: The brokers for 9900 Wilshire are expecting that the buyers will be from abroad, "especially Asia."
· Site of former department store in Beverly Hills on market again [LAT]
· 9900 Wilshire Archives [Curbed LA]