Ratkovich Properties, a local Long Beach developer of urban residential and mixed-use projects throughout Southern California, formed a partnership with Los Angeles-based The Kor Group and Chicago-based Waterton Residential to purchase the former City Hall East Building from the City of Long Beach.
The partnership, known as 100 LBB Real Estate, LLC, has plans to transform the idle 10-story office building into a vibrant, boutique apartment and mixed-use community to be known as “The Edison”. “The residents of the 150 urban loft apartments will infuse new energy into the emerging East Village Arts District and create a linkage between East Village and the commercial core of downtown”, said Cliff Ratkovich, President of Ratkovich Properties (www.ratkovichproperties.com).
Ratkovich Properties was selected as the successful bidder in February of this year in response to the City’s request for development proposals. Seeking to form a development partnership that would allow The Edison to realize its full potential, Ratkovich Properties sought out The Kor Group to complement its efforts. “We felt The Edison deserved the very best talent we could assemble, and we could not have selected a better partner than The Kor Group to help us fulfill our vision”, said Rob Dodman, Principal of Ratkovich Properties.
The Kor Group is widely known for exceptional adaptive reuse development and creating lasting value through distinctive design and branding. Over the past 15 years, Kor has acquired and developed award winning residential, hotel and mixed-use projects, including the Eastern Columbia Building and the Barker Block Lofts, both in downtown Los Angeles (www.thekorgroup.com). Brian De Lowe, Principal of The Kor Group, commented, “We are thrilled to join with Ratkovich Properties and Waterton Residential to return the luster to a Mid-Century Modern jewel in the City and create a western gateway to the East Village Arts District. This building will offer iconic architecture and interior design as well as amenities and services similar to those in other Kor-developed projects, including a rooftop pool and fantastic ground floor food & beverage spaces.”
Waterton Residential rounds out the investment partnership and will manage the building once completed. Waterton is a private investment firm specializing in the ownership and management of multi-family properties across the U.S. (www.watertonresidential.com). They are no stranger to Long Beach having acquired the City Place Apartment Homes in downtown Long Beach from Archstone Properties in 2012. “We believe downtown Long Beach offers a unique urban lifestyle on the Southern California coastline, and The Edison will be downtown’s premier apartment community with its dramatic city and coastal views”, said David Schwartz, Managing Member and Co-Founder of Waterton. He added, “The Edison will be a trophy addition to our portfolio and help us expand our presence in Long Beach and Southern California”.
100 LBB Real Estate, LLC closed escrow on June 7th. The 1959 Mid-Century Modern building was designed by one of Long Beach’s most prominent architects, Kenneth Wing. The building’s conversion from office to residential will require significant seismic and other upgrades to bring it in conformance with current codes. In addition, plans call for demolition of the building’s interior, replacement of the exterior skin to respect its original design, all new mechanical, electrical, elevator and plumbing systems, and the addition of ground floor retail and restaurant space.
The partnership has retained Nakada+ as architect, Hopkins Construction as general contractor, Nabih Youssef Associates as structural engineer, and Long Beach based JR Van Dijs, Inc. as construction manager. Demolition and completion of construction drawings will take place over the next six months with new construction scheduled for the 1st Q of 2014. Following a 12 month construction schedule, units will be available for lease in the 1st Q of 2015.