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BEVERLY HILLS, CA-A London-based investment firm has paid $9.6 million in cash for a 40,732-sf site here that is one of the last large parcels available for development in Beverly Hills, according to Grubb & Ellis.

Brian M. Dunne of the West Los Angeles office of Grubb & Ellis, who represented the seller, describes the closing price of $236 per sf as “one of the highest amounts achieved in this area,” which is at 9200 Wilshire Blvd. in the heart of Beverly Hills. Dunne notes that the parcel is vacant and has full entitlements for a four-story, 133-room luxury hotel.

The property was sold through the US Bankruptcy Court in Downtown Los Angeles on behalf of local investment and development group BHG Holdings LLC. BHG had been in escrow since April 1998 to acquire the property from its former owner, TBO Realty. But BHG could not close the escrow by March 31 of this year as required by its contract with TBO, so BHG declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The bankruptcy filing was the only way for BHG to keep the escrow open so it could sell the site to another buyer and recoup the $2.2 million it had already spent on obtaining entitlements for the land. The bankruptcy court allowed BHG until Aug. 15 to find a substitute buyer for the property, which was once a Cadillac dealership but has been vacant for 15 years.

Although the property is entitled for a hotel, the City of Beverly Hills has said it also would welcome a mixed-use housing and retail development, if a new developer so chooses.

Ellas Properties was represented by Phil Seymore of Elite Properties Realty. TBO Realty, was represented by Jeff Resnick of First Property Realty.

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