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LOS ANGELES-A joint venture of Hanover Financial Co. and privately held Upside Investment Inc. has paid $9.5 million for an apartment portfolio in Koreatown, an area that is beginning to see a fresh round of new investment.

One of the two buildings in the portfolio is at 333 S. Kingsley. The other is at 519 S. Gramercy. Both complexes are in the heart of Koreatown.

“The area has seen the arrival of some very affluent immigrants, which has helped the community become a very good investment market,” Michael Lowinger, Hanover Financial’s president and CEO, tells GlobeSt.com. “Apartment vacancies in the area are 3% or less.”

The Hanover-Upside JV acquired the 333 S. Kingsley development from a private group known as Success Overseas Inc. All parties in the transaction were represented by Sam Chung of locally based A-Ju Realty.

The Gramercy property was sold by the private Park Family Trust, which was represented by Byong Kang and Michael Fiorina of Southwestern Pacific Land Group Inc. The buyer was represented by Mark Konopaske of Total Investment Inc.

Fast-growing Hanover Financial is carving a niche as a leader of joint venture capital in the West Coast market by taking part in small- and medium-size deals that don’t fit the parameters of many larger institutions. Formed about 18 months ago, it has already acquired more than $350 million of real estate assets.

Hanover’s partner in the Koreatown deal, Upside Investment Inc., is a Calabasas-based group headed by private investors Gary Simons and Shawn Baker. Another Hanover-Upside JV is building a 56-unit apartment complex in the nearby Mid-Wilshire area that is expected to open in the first quarter of next year.

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