HOLLYWOOD– Los Angeles-based real estate investment firm CGI Strategies in Real Estate (CGI) has acquired The Villa Carlotta, an historic 50-unit apartment building in the Franklin Village submarket of Hollywood, California in a transaction valued at $12.25 million.
“This is a magical building with nearly 100 years of Hollywood charm and mystique,” said CGI Founder and CEO Gidi Cohen. “Opportunities to acquire buildings like this don’t come along very often. It is a privilege to own and have the opportunity to restore this property to its past splendor.”
The four-story, 46,000-square-foot multifamily property, located at 5959 Franklin Avenue, was built in 1926 for the widow of silent film pioneer Thomas Ince as a residential apartment house for Hollywood notables. Residents included Edward G. Robinson, David O. Selznick, Marion Davies, and longtime resident Louella Parsons who penned her popular gossip column from her two-bedroom townhome. The classic Hollywood Spanish Colonial style building was designed by Arthur E. Harvey, whose work includes some of the most architecturally relevant buildings in Los Angeles, including the Chateau Elysee (now the Scientology Celebrity Centre), the American Storage Company Building and the Selig retail store, an Art Deco landmark in MacArthur Park. The Villa Carlotta was designated a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument in 1986.
The 50-unit building features a mix of studio and one-bedroom apartments ranging in size from 505 to 706 square feet. The property also includes two, 1,214-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bath townhomes. Each unit features original hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings with stenciled wood beams, ornate crown moldings, wrought iron balconies and classic cabinetry and plumbing.
The centerpiece of the Villa Carlotta is its 1,500-square-foot grand lobby replete with hand painted coffered ceilings, detailed mahogany woodwork, marble statuary, stone fireplace and antique lighting. The apartments wrap around a lushly landscaped center courtyard with fountains and private seating areas.
“The Villa Carlotta is one of the Grande Dames of Hollywood buildings, an irreplaceable asset that has been untouched for the past 50 years,” added CGI Principal Adrian Goldstein. “We intend to unlock its amazing potential with a thoughtful renovation program that will include interior and common area improvements, new building systems and amenities including a rooftop lounge with unobstructed views of the iconic Hollywood Sign. All this will be done while remaining true to Villa Carlotta’s rich architectural integrity and historic charm.”
The multimillion-dollar capital improvement program is expected to be completed in 2015. CGI will reposition the property as luxury long-term rentals appealing to individuals seeking an authentic Hollywood experience. The Villa Carlotta also will feature a number of fully furnished, extended stay apartments catering to the executive engaged in the entertainment, Internet and technology business, traveling to Hollywood to work on a project, according to Gidi Cohen.
“The renaissance in Hollywood is real as evidenced by the more than 1,500 rental units now under construction,” he said. “However, none have the connection to Hollywood or the mystique or glamor offered by The Villa Carlotta with its storied mythology of characters that have lived and walked its hallowed halls.”
Ronald Harris, Paul Darrow and Michael DiSimone of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services represented both parties in the transaction.
About CGI Strategies in Real Estate
CGI is a Los Angeles-based real estate investment and strategy firm that invests in strategically located, ground-up developments and income producing real estate throughout California, New York and key cities in the Southeastern and Southwestern United States, particularly in the underserved secondary or tertiary markets. Its portfolio includes apartment buildings, mixed-use development and broken condominium projects as well as notes secured by those assets.