LOS ANGELES-A joint venture of Kennedy Wilson and RECP/UrbanPartners has acquired 167 condo units and 18,694 square feet ofretail space at the Santee Village development in Downtown L.A. inan REO sale by Bank of America. Robert Hart, president and CEO ofKennedy Wilson Multifamily Management Group, calls the project “oneof the last opportunities in the current real estate cycle toacquire a condo property in the downtown L.A. area.”

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Hart points out that more than $15 billion has been invested inDowntown Los Angeles in the past dozen years, and while the areahas always been the employment, transportation and cultural artshub of the region, it has now developed into a tourist destinationwith approximately 14.6 million visitors each year. “Downtown’sresidential population has blossomed to 42,000 and its daytimepopulation is over 500,000,” Hart notes.

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Santee Village is composed of three buildings located at thenorthern end of the fashion and garment district and are designatedas local historic monuments. Originally built by business tycoonMichael J. Connell in the 1910s, the buildings were purchased in1998 and underwent a nearly 10 year process of restoration andadaptation to residential loft living. The residences featureconcrete floors, oversized industrial windows and 10-foot to14-foot vaulted ceilings. The buildings share a central courtyardwith the neighboring Santee Court apartments.

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Financial terms of the Kennedy Wilson/RECP purchase wereundisclosed. According to GlobeSt.com reports in 2006, developersMJW Investments and Phoenix Realty Group described the combinedSantee Village and Santee Court as seven former garment districtbuildings representing a $130-million development. In total, theseven former apparel industry buildings have been converted into445 rental and for-sale units and more than 61,000 square feet ofretail space, according to the previous GlobeSt.com reports.

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The acquisition marks the third partnership between KennedyWilson and RECP/Urban Partners. Debt financing was provided byDeutsche Bank, and Mark Tarczynski and Adam Tischer of CB RichardEllis represented the buyer and the seller in the transaction.

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