Downtown LA is champing at the bit for more condos, and it seemed like they might get a little satisfaction when it was announced last month that the very handsome, Art Deco Title Guarantee building across from Pershing Square was going to be converting from rentals to condos. They had 550 people signed up on an interest list for the 74 units, says the LA Business Journal, and then, to the surprise of pretty much everyone who'd been working on the deal, building owners Admire Hill rapidly changed their minds and decided not to make the switch.
The demand for condos in Downtown is definitely there. There were 103 listings of pre-owned condos live in DTLA in August, "an inventory that will run out in three months"—a market expert with sales firm Mark Co. told the LABJ. The market isn't considered "balanced" unless it has enough inventory for six months. And although there are almost 2,000 condos under construction now and 3,000 more planned units, none will be ready until 2017, the LA Times has noted.
"I haven't got a clue (why that decision was made). There were no legal issues we found that would stall it. It hasn't been explained," an attorney working with Admire Hill on the conversion said. There's been no explanation from Admire Hill owners, a Koreatown doctor and his daughter, or his son, who is a managing partner of AH. (Admire Hill has owned the Title Guarantee since 2012, when they bought it for $29 million.)
Some experts think that Admire Hill is holding out to ask for more money, others think that the conversion process was complicated and overwhelming for the family-run business and that they might be looking to sell soon. Title Guarantee's 80 percent leased and those leases run out at the end of this year, so it might not be too long before we find out what changes will come to the 1930 structure.
· Door Still Open? [LABJ]
· Art Deco icon converting to condos as downtown L.A. faces shortage [LAT]
· DTLA's Title Guarantee Snapped Up for $405k Per Unit [Curbed LA]