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Profile: Sonny Astani - Development

Kenton Hanson

Special Report: Who's Who in Real Estate

Source :: Los Angeles Business Journal
Date :: 08.21.2009
By :: By LABJ Staff Rreporter

SONNY ASTANI, 55
President Astani Enterprises Inc., 
Beverly Hills 

The longtime apartment developer swung for the fences with his most ambitious project – Concerto, a planned 629-unit condominium complex in two downtown high-rises and one loft building. He has struggled to keep the project afloat, but unlike other developers has not abandoned his effort; construction is wrapping up on one tower and the lofts. 

Sonny Astani

Sonny Astani

Biggest Challenge: Trying to finish and sell a $300 million multiphase, high-rise mixed-use project in downtown L.A. all while expecting that my construction lender may be taken over by the FDIC any Friday at 6 p.m. 

Notable Deals: I was very fortunate to have refinanced a half-dozen of our larger apartment buildings with Freddie Mac before the meltdown occurred. 

Secret of Success: We are a small, flexible and lean operator. We are one of a few groups in L.A. that is an owner, developer, builder and manager of multifamily properties and condominiums. 

Sage Advice: I usually talk to my wife, she knows everything.

Stress Release: I have practiced martial arts, tai chi and yoga for the past 20 years. But I have recently taken up wrestling and ocean swimming, which is an indication of my state of mind: “survival.” 

Recession’s Silver Lining: People in general are more reasonable and easier to work with, the exception being my kids and my bank. 

End of Downturn: Sadly it will come to an end when we have become so accustomed to it that we stop asking the question. 

Recent Splurge: (On) trainers and shrinks. I have given up spontaneous and impulsive shopping.