Casden developing apartments for L.A. elite Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Casden Properties is developing Park La Brea, a $300 million, 1,381-unit luxury apartment community in Los Angeles that will be in the city's Fairfax district, near the historic Farmer's Market. (As reported in November's NREI, the Farmer's Market is anchoring a 640,000 sq. ft. mixed-use development called The Grove at Farmer's Market.)

The 12-acre complex, which is Casden's largest project to date, will actually consist of three separate developments, all of which will be run by the Beverly Hills-based Mayer Management Inc., a Casden subsidiary. According to the company, the community is designed to "appeal to young executives and professional couples."

One of the developments will have 521 units, ranging from one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments to three-bedroom, three-bathroom townhomes. A second will consist of 610 "ultra-luxury" apartments with similar floor-plan options. A third development will have 250 apartments, which will feature one- and two-bedroom units, as well as lofts. Amenities will include an 8,000 sq. ft. health club and spa, a swimming pool, a full-time concierge and formal European gardens. Each unit will have high-speed Internet wiring, fireplaces and terraces. Construction began last month, with occupancy slated for January 2001.

CB Richard Ellis arranges huge sale in Newport Beach Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis has negotiated the $126.5 million sale of Oakwood Newport Apartments, a 1,447-unit luxury apartment complex in Newport Beach, Calif. Palo Alto, Calif.-based Essex Property Trust, a REIT, purchased the property; Los Angeles-based R & B Realty Group, which developed the complex and owned it for 31 years, was the seller. According to CB Richard Ellis, the sale sets an Orange County record based on price and number of units involved.

The deal was negotiated by Joe Leon and Ray Eldridge of CB Richard Ellis' Newport Beach, Calif., office; Tyler Anderson of CB Richard Ellis' Phoenix, Ariz., office; and Dennis Danielian and Jesse Goldstein of Redwood Shores, Calif.-based TCI Properties.

The gated community, located one mile from the Pacific Ocean, has two resort-style swimming pools, 12 tennis courts, two fitness centers and two conference centers.

The apartments were 95% occupied at the time of the sale.

Dietz Organization arranges several hearty Midwest deals The Dietz Organization, Birmingham, Mich., recently brokered several multifamily deals totaling more than $94 million and 1,720 units. The transactions included Fox Hills Apartments, a 346-unit complex in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., which closed for $27.5 million cash; The Lakes Apartments, a 434-unit community in Southfield, Mich., which closed for $25,6 million cash; Beachwood Townhomes, a 376-unit complex in Harrison Township, Mich., which closed for $17.5 million, cash to existing financing; and Woodbridge Manor, a 288-unit community in Lansing, Mich., which closed for $6.4 million cash.

Virginia REIT buys Miami Beach complex for $85 million Arlington, Va.-based Charles E. Smith Residential Realty Inc., a multifamily REIT, has acquired a 1,339-unit Miami Beach apartment complex for approximately $85 million. The property is currently named Forte Towers, but will be renamed in first-quarter 2000, when Smith Residential will begin about $25 million worth of renovations on the five-building high-rise community.

In the sale, the privately held corporation that owned the property was merged into Smith Residential. The sale was primarily funded through a combination of 694,586 shares of common stock issued to the property owner, proceeds from the sale of convertible preferred stock and a debt assumption of approximately $34 million.

Moving on up to the East Side Construction of the Art Deco Tower, a 22-story, 74-unit apartment building located on Manhattan's East Side, has begun. The $20 million structure, which is being developed by Douglaston, N.Y.-based Levine Builders and New York-based R&M Gershon, is located between Second and Third avenues. Completion is slated for January 2001.

The units will range in size from 580 sq. ft. to 825 sq. ft., with rents will ranging from $1,800 per month to $2,400 per month. Amenities will include a 24-hour doorman and a tan and brick facade, complete with ornamental metal trim and detailed masonry. New York-based Architect Design Group is the project's architect.

Beat Report

Emerging Trends says avoid the Sunbelt, or risk getting burned