[IMGCAP(2)]At the same time Snyder is getting under way with itsproject, North Hollywood-based developer DT Group is converting theNoHo Lofts at 5355 Cartwright Ave. in the NoHo Arts District into68 office condos. Dan Markel, president of DT Group, explains thatthe project, which was built in 2006, "is not only ideally designedto function as a live/work project but, equally important, in thischaotic financial climate, it provides an ideal economic solutionfor start-up or small businesses."

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Snyder Co. and Laemmle Theatres broke ground Monday on theirproject, which will be situated on nearly three acres at the cornerof Lankershim and Weddington. This latest component of NorthHollywood's revitalization is part of a joint deal between the J.H.Snyder Co. and the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City ofLos Angeles to construct a transit-oriented development near theNorth Hollywood station. The project site is part of the 743-acre,North Hollywood Redevelopment District

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This latest phase will restore a historic San Fernando Valleydiner, notes Jerry Snyder, senior partner at J.H. Snyder Co. The1920s era Phil's Diner, designed in a railroad car style by CharlesAmend and with a distinctive neon sign overhead, previously servedgenerations in the San Fernando Valley from a spot on ChandlerBoulevard. The diner will be relocated within the project and thediner's missing, original sign will be recreated.

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As part of the financing agreement, the CRA/LA will provide thesite to J.H. Snyder for one dollar, and then refund J.H. Snyder Co.$3 million in land acquisition payments. The CRA/LA will also paythe company $4.2 million for providing public and theater parkingfor 45 years.

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The NoHo Commons project was approved in 2001. Phase one,completed in December 2006, includes a 438-unit mixed-incomeresidential rental project. Phase two, completed June 2007,features 292 units of loft and live/work rentals and 60,000 sf ofretail/commercial space including the HOWS supermarket, a bank,mobile phone store and several restaurants.

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The DT Group's office condominium conversion project is designedto provide a number of benefits that the developer believes willmake it more marketable in today's financial climate. Markel pointsout that if more than one-third of a unit is allocated toresidential use, "there are highly attractive tax benefits." Healso notes that the building, which originally served as theAdolph's Meat Tenderizer testing facility, "has the structuralbones which make it ideal for commercial office use."

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According to Chris Baer, a principal at Ramsey-Shilling who is aformer CPA and tax consultant, financing at NoHo Lofts is arrangedby the developer, thereby saving the buyer time and eliminating thetravail of dealing with lenders during this credit-crunch period."There's also another intriguing investment aspect provided by theproject--buying one of the units and renting it to another party,"said Baer. "Besides cash flow, capital appreciation and taxbenefits, there are 1031 property exchange possibilities."

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The DT Group's project features units ranging from 520 sf to1650 sf at prices from $243,000 to $890,000. The project alsofeatures business centers, fitness facilities and roof-topamenities for group entertaining.

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