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LOS ANGELES-A newly formed partnership of Santa Monica-based Watt Genton Associates and Boston-based Halcyon Ventures has acquired a $10.6-million parcel for its first development, which will transform a former gas station site into loft condominiums. The project, to be called the Lofts at Larchmont, will include 21 condos on a parcel at 5700 Melrose Ave., about two blocks from Larchmont Village. Watt Genton and Halcyon plan to specialize in multifamily and mixed-use infill projects in the metropolitan area, according to Jonathan Genton, president of Watt Genton Associates, which will identify and acquire sites for the partnership with Halcyon. He says the partnership will be able to close quickly on new development deals once it identifies sites. Halcyon Ventures was formed in December by Martin Zieff and Mark Potter, formerly principals of AEW Capital Management LP. The private equity firm, which partners with local entrepreneurs, recently raised its first investment fund with equity commitments totaling $152 million. The venture with Watt Genton is Halcyon’s initial investment in the Los Angeles area, according to Mark Potter, managing partner of Halcyon Ventures. HFF Securities LP, an affiliate of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, arranged the joint venture between Watt Genton Associates and Halcyon Ventures. The Lofts at Larchmont is being designed by DE Architects as both flats and lofts, with the condos ranging in size from 1,154 sf to 1,500 sf. Genton calls the development “an ideal infill project,” pointing out that it reuses a former gas station site to bring housing to a mature residential area where there has been little or no new condominium development. The developers have begun site clean-up and expect to begin construction in the fourth quarter of this year. Watt Genton Associates, an affiliate of Watt Commercial Properties, has more than two million sf of projects under development or in the pipeline and more than 10 million sf of commercial properties that it owns and manages.

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