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Developers paying up for raw land in Downtown LA

 Developers paying up for raw land in Downtown LA

January 10, 2005

PRICES refuse to cool off for developable downtown Los Angeles lots.

Source :: Los Angeles Business Journal, By Andy Fixmer
Date :: Jan 10, 2005 

Astani Enterprises Inc. and Hanover Financial Co. are paying top dollar for parcels on which they plan to build large condominium and apartment projects, respectively.

Hanover Financial has agreed to pay $7.8 million for a 17,500 square foot parcel held by Anschutz Entertainment Group. It plans to build a 175-unit, 26-story luxury apartment building at the northwest corner of Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street.

At nearly $450 a foot, Hanover, which is backed by Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., is paying some of the highest per-square-foot rates for undeveloped downtown land.

While plans for the apartment building have been previously reported, the deal for the land was only recently struck. The sale is expected to close by mid-year, sources said.

Meanwhile, Beverly Hills-based real estate investment firm Astani Enterprises has agreed to pay Thermo Cos. $38 million for a 129,000-square-foot parking lot bounded by Seventh and Eighth streets and Grand Avenue and Olive Street, according to sources close to the deal.

The firm's principal, Sonny Astani, is paying nearly $295 a foot for the land. The price closely matches the $30 million Astani paid in September for a 100,000-square-foot parking lot at the southwest corner of Figueroa and Eighth streets.

As with the earlier purchase, Astani is planning to entitle the land for a condominium project of an unspecified size, the sources said.

At the Figueroa Street lot, Astani plans a $140 million project containing two condo towers.

Calls to Astani weren't returned.

Staff reporter Andy Fixmer can be reached by phone at 323 549 5225. ext. 263, or by e-mail at