The parking lot is generating a
5% return on Champion’s investment.

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HOLLYWOOD, CA-Mixed-use real estate developer and investor Champion Real Estate Co. has purchased a 1.14-acre commercial parking lot at 1717 Cherokee and 1718 Las Palmas here. The company plans to continue operating the commercial parking lot while developing plans for turning it into a mixed-use project. While the exact purchase price was not revealed, industry sources say the property sold for approximately $10 million.

“We purchased it using cash and a short escrow,” Champion’s president Robert Champion tells GlobeSt.com. “We are value investors. We believe Hollywood is a great value, and we believe the property we bought is a great value.”

Champion goes on to say that the City of Los Angeles has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to revitalize Hollywood and transform it into a 24/7 urban environment with a new transportation infrastructure, new housing and job creation, which has attracted new restaurants, nightclubs and other amenities for urban dwellers. He adds that the parking lot Champion just purchased, previously owned by Common Fund, is generating a 5% return on the company’s investment—“a lot better return than we can get most places. Long term, as the transformation of Hollywood continues, we believe the property will be perfectly suited for a mixed-use development that will include public parking, residential, retail and possibly a hospitality component.”

Champion could not elaborate on the mixed-use project until the City Council approves the community plan update, which will dictate what the developer can build, but he does tell GlobeSt.com that the price in mind for the mixed-use project at this point is around $50 million.

This is the second Hollywood acquisition for Champion in the past year. In March 2011, the firm acquired a 2.76-acre redevelopment site for $20 million and intends to construct a mixed-use project on this site as well.

“We are very excited about the long-term prospects for Hollywood and delighted to participate in its ongoing renaissance,” says Champion. “Hollywood is one of the best urban environments in Southern California with the perfect mix of housing, jobs and amenities.”

As GlobeSt.com previously reported, about a year ago an affiliate of Champion acquired a five-building, mixed-use complex on a 2.76-acre site that is planned as part of a transit-oriented development featuring retail, restaurants and luxury apartments. The property sold for $20 million in an all-cash transaction, according to receiver Taylor B. Grant, head of Newport Beach, CA-based California Real Estate Receiverships. CalRER handled the sale on behalf of the lender, US Bank.